Friday, October 30, 2009

World Wide Web To Become More Global

ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the body that regulates the use of Internet names and addresses, today approved the use of non-Latin characters in Internet addresses. What that means is that people and organizations with a website in Arabic, Chinese, Russian or a dozen other languages can now have an Internet address to match.

Countries that use non-Latin alphabets had long complained that it was unfair they had to use addresses only in Latin script, and that it was especially difficult for computer users in their countries who did not know the Latin alphabet to access the Internet. It's estimated that half the people in the world (that's more than three billion) speak a language that uses a non-Latin alphabet.

Under the ICANN ruling, countries can apply for one non-Latin web domain - for example Russia has proposed ".рф", cyrillic for "RF", standing for "Russian Federation". The new non-Latin domains should start to go live in the first half of 2010.
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