Domain names can now use international characters

Saturday, October 31st, 2009


The World Wide Web will soon be speaking in different tongues.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers board gave approval Friday to allow Internet domain names to be made up of non-Latin letters.

“The coming introduction of non-Latin characters represents the biggest technical change to the Internet since it was created four decades ago,” said board chairman Peter Dengate Thrush in a news release.

“Right now, Internet address endings are limited to Latin characters — A to Z. But the Fast Track Process is the first step in bringing the 100,000 characters of the languages of the world online for domain names.”

Starting Nov. 16, countries will be able to apply for URLs made up of characters from their national language.

“This is only the first step, but it is an incredibly big one and a historic move toward the internationalization of the Internet ,” said Rod Beckstrom, ICANN’s President and CEO.

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