International Domain Names on the way for 2010

ICANN plans what it has described as the biggest change to the internet in its 40 year history.

 

The internet is on the verge of, what regulators ICANN have called “the biggest change since it was invented”. The body said it was in the final stages of introducing for the first time non-Latin characters to web addresses, such as Arabic and Cyrillic.

The new names, dubbed “International Domain Names” – or IDNs – could even be up and running within 12 months, with some estimates putting the release at summer 2010.

More than half of web users around the world use non-Latin scripts. Ron Beckstrom described the move as “necessary” as internet use continues to spread.

Plans for the changes were first approved in June 2008; however implementation has taken longer than expected.

“We are confident that it works because we have been testing it for a couple of years,” said Dengate Thrush. “We’re really ready to start rolling it out.”

If the plans are approved, as expected, at the end of the month the body will begin accepting applications on the 16th November.

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