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Afilias and .JO Registry Bring Native Language E-mail to Arabic Internet Users

The first demonstration of email transmission using a fully Internationalized address held at the APTLD Members Meeting in Amman, Jordan

Afilias, a global provider of Internet infrastructure services, and the National Information Technology Center of Jordan today announced that they have partnered to produce the first public demonstration of an e-mail message between two completely internationalized (or IDN) e-mail addresses in the Arabic language, using Afilias' new IDN e-mail technology and a fully IDN domain name and IDN TLD from the .JO registry.

"With the 83 percent of the world's population estimated to be non-English speaking, this is an important first step in bringing a useful Internet to the majority of the world's Internet users which were previously shut-out of using the Internet in their native language," said John Kane, Vice President of Corporate Services for Afilias. "The adoption of IDN domain names has been inhibited by the lack of technical support within e-mail programs for internationalized addresses which would still be compatible with the global DNS system. With Afilias' unique and standards-compliant IDN e-mail solution, we are able to finally address this problem and facilitate IDN adoption in any language."

At the APTLD meeting in Amman, Jordan, Afilias and the .JO registry demonstrated sending and receiving e-mail using the fully Internationalized e-mail addresses الاردن.الدولي-البريد@تجربة and الاردن.الدولي-البريد@مبيعات. E-mail was sent from and to these addresses using both a Web-based e-mail client and a mobile application.*

"The final link in the conversion of the Web to a truly global audience is to give all users of the Internet their website and e-mail identity in a form that truly represents them, in their own language," added Dr. Nabeel Al-Fayoumi, Government CIO / Director General of the National IT Center / .jo and .الاردن Registry. "We are pleased to cooperate with Afilias on an historic and important move forward in technology that will empower Arabic and other non-English speaking Internet users around the world to communicate in their own language."

The Jordanian registry officially launched the Arabic version of its ccTLD as .alordon which translates to xn--mgbayh7gpa using the Punycode algorithm and is visible in Arabic as الاردن. Registration in the new IDN version of the ccTLD was launched on October 11, 2010, beginning with a sunrise period for Governmental Entities and Diplomatic Missions, and shall be followed by a registration period for trademark holders.

About Internationalized Domain Names and IDN e-mail

Internet users are familiar with using domains that are written in ASCII (Latin/English characters) - on websites, in e-mail, and in many other Internet applications. Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) were first launched in 2004 based on an IETF standard called IDNA (RFC 5890), which uses the Punycode encoding algorithm to represent non-ASCII characters found in Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic, Hindi and other languages, into ASCII names that the DNS system can resolve. This allows Internet users to type a domain name in their local script using their native language, instead of an English translation. For further information, please visit http://www.afilias.info/IDN-Backgrounder.

Since 2004, businesses and individual users have been able to register second level IDN domains in many scripts across many top-level domain (TLD) extensions. However, both the user name portion of an e-mail address and the TLD itself has been ASCII-only. Recently ICANN approved the introduction of IDNs at the top level, so TLDs like .jo can now be visible in a native script like Arabic as .الاردن.

Afilias IDN E-mail is a software package that supports "E-mail Address Internationalization" (EAI), a standard under development by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). This standard removes the restriction of English-only alphabets in e-mail addresses. Afilias' IDN e-mail application allows people to use almost any language in their e-mail address. The Afilias implementation follows RFC 4952 and additional draft RFCs that are in the process of being standardized. These changes allow both the username and the domain name of an e-mail address to be in any language/script represented in the Unicode standard.

For more information about Afilias' IDN E-mail solution and how to become a beta partner, please visit www.afilias.info/idnemail.

About the .jo and .الاردن Registry

NITC is the only accredited registrar of domain names under .JO ccTLD and .الاردن IDN ccTLD, was granted this registration privilege by ICANN, a body concerned with the development of Internet technology and management of domain names.

NITC basically aims at efficiently providing the DNS registration service to the public by following the worldwide best practices by maintaining a solid operating environment that secures the customer rights and following a transparency policy of publishing the database of registered domain names under the .JO ccTLD and .الاردن IDN ccTLD.

NITC's policy in domain registration under .JO and .الاردن complies with the worldwide recognized policies and best practices with essential modifications that accommodate the Jordanian culture and the Jordanian Laws to protect the rights of the others.

*Note: Due to the current status of the EAI draft protocol, sending e-mail to these IDN addresses from outside of Afilias' IDN e-mail system is not yet supported.

About Afilias

Afilias

Afilias is the world's second largest domain registry, with more than 20 million names under management. Afilias powers a greater variety of top-level domains than any other provider, and will soon support hundreds of new TLDs now preparing for launch. Afilias' specialized technology makes Internet addresses more accessible and useful through a wide range of applications, including Internet domain registry services, Managed DNS and mobile Web services like goMobi® and DeviceAtlas®. (Learn More)

Related topics: DNS, Domain Names, Registry Services, Email, Multilinguism, Top-Level Domains

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