During its board meeting today in Seoul, South Koria, the ICANN board has approved the Fast Track Process for Internationalized Domain Names which will enable Internet addresses to be completely made up of non-Latin characters — including Top-Level Domains (TLDs). The process is set to launch next month, November 16, 2009, after which nations and territories can apply for TLDs in their national language to be approved by ICANN.
"This is only the first step, but it is an incredibly big one and an historic move toward the internationalization of the Internet ," said Rod Beckstrom, ICANN's President and CEO. "The first countries that participate will not only be providing valuable information of the operation of IDNs in the domain name system, they are also going to help to bring the first of billions more people online — people who never use Roman characters in their daily lives."
The following video has been released by ICANN in follow up to the announcement:
Internet Addresses Can Use New Scripts New York Times, Oct.30.2009
ICANN Bringing the Languages of the World to the Global Internet ICANN, Oct.29.2009
Hebrew, Hindi, other scripts get Web address nod Associated Press, Oct.29.2009
Updates: UPDATED Nov 01, 2009 4:12 PM PST
• ICANN Gives Green Light To .中国, .рф, .إمارات , But No Timeline For New Top-Level Domains IP Watch, Nov.1.2009
• CNN's Pauline Chiou asks attorney Martin Schwimmer, Former Vice President of ICANN's intellectual property constituency, about the upside of internationalizing domain names (Video) CNN, Oct.29.2009
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