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First Full IDN Domain Names Now Online

May 10, 2010, 21:04 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Sean Michael Kerner)


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"Until this week, Latin characters were required to access a complete domain name on the Internet. That has now changed as the first full Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) are now live, enabling users for the first time ever to access websites with an entirely non-Latin character set.

"The first IDNs that have been approved and are now live use Arabic characters and have been deployed for the Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates country code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs). The deployment of the IDN ccTLDs marks a major milestone for the Internet and for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) following a fast-track process that for deployment that began in late 2009 after years of discussion.

""I think everyone just views this as a very positive development," Tina Dam, senior director of IDNs at ICANN, told InternetNews.com. "In terms of who would be first, sure, there was a lot of focus on that, and a lot of countries wanted to be first."

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