Internet addresses set to move beyond English?

From  the ‘English Monopoly‘ files:


ICANN is meeting in Seoul, South Korea this week with a big agenda. At the top of the list is a proposal to finally begin the process of accepting and delivering International Domain Names (IDNs).

Until now all top level domains (TLDs) have only supported ASCII (basically the Latin alphabet). That is soon going to change.

“Of the 1.6 Billion Internet users today worldwide, more than half use
languages that have scripts that are not Latin based,” Rob Beckstrom CEO of ICANN said during a press conference today. “This change is
very much necessary, for not only half the world’s Internet users today,
but for future users as use of the Internet continues to spread.”

The idea for International Domain Names (IDNs) is not a new one and it seems to me like it has been on the agenda for every ICANN meeting over the last 9 or more years. At we’ve been reporting…and reporting some more on IDN since the year 2000.

When ICANN spoke about the IDN issue in Egypt last year, I blogged about how long it takes for anything to get done at ICANN, noting the IDN issue in particular.

This year is different than last year.

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