Domain Name System internationalisedPublish date: 30 October 2009 by Thomas Mckinnon
While there are websites in every language imaginable on the web, domain name suffixes have been limited, by regulation, to the 26 characters of the Latin alphabet, the numerals 0 to 9, and a hyphen. The Domain Name System (DNS) is about to undergo a major transformation however.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced today, at a meeting in Seoul, South Korea, that it will begin to accept requests by governments and other official bodies for non-Latin alphabet internet extensions.
This may not seem like a big deal to Westerners, but internationalised domain names that include scripts in Chinese, Hebrew, Hindi, Arabic or any other widely spoken language could spell a more accessible web for hundreds of millions of people unfamiliar with the ABCs and 123s.
The announcement started to filter into the Twittersphere early this morning with many calling this is single biggest transformation to the internet since it was created more than 40 years ago.
The first internationalised domain names should start to appear mid-2010. For more information visit www.icann.org.