Australian Company Offers Multi-Lingual Domain Names in Europe

[London, ENGLAND] Australian e-commerce services supplier
Melbourne IT announced Friday it will offer registrations
for multi-lingual domain names in 28 national languages
throughout Europe from February 26, 2001.

Towards the end of last year, Melbourne IT began to register
multi-lingual domain names in Chinese, Japanese and Korean
characters. Its success with the venture has persuaded it
to continue on a larger scale.

“Language is a significant barrier in using the Internet for
non-English speaking people and memorizing an English Web
site address presents difficulties for non-English speakers,”
said Clive Flory, president of Melbourne IT’s Internet Names
World Wide division.

Flory went on to say that the introduction of multi-lingual
domain names in European countries will accelerate the growth
of the Internet and its applications. He said Melbourne IT plans
to introduce the service in Germany, France, Spain, Denmark,
Italy, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and the central European nations
of Slovenia, Romania, Hungary, Poland, and Czechoslovakia.

So what constitutes a “multi-lingual domain name”?

Melbourne IT explains it by saying it combines prefix characters
in the language of the country of origin with the suffix “.com,”
“.net” or “.org.” It notes Espaa.com, Espaa.net and Espaa.org
as valid examples of multi-lingual domain names.

The service offered by Melbourne IT follows a decision last month
by VeriSign Global Registry to expand the language functionality
of its Multilingual Domain Name Test bed and begin accepting domain
name registrations in characters from several additional languages.

Melbourne IT’s INWW division is one of the first ICANN accredited
registrars to be certified for handling multi-lingual domain names.

One word of warning to companies intending to register a multi-lingual
domain name: the names should be considered provisional in this
initial test phase, according to VeriSign Global Registry.
A small number of them could become invalid as new standards are
developed.

An innovative company, Melbourne IT was the first registrar to offer
63 character domain names and the first to offer 1-10 year
registrations. Its shares are traded on the Australian Stock Exchange,
under the symbol MLB. Its names division is on the Web at
www.inww.com.

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