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First IDN ccTLDs Available from ICANN

Posted on 5.09.2010

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced that for the time in Internet history, non-Latin characters are being used for top-level domains. The first IDN country-code top-level domains were inserted in the DNS root zone on May 5.

So far, ICANN has received a total of 21 requests for IDN ccTLD(s) representing 11 languages. A total of 13 requests have successfully passed through the “String Evaluation” (the second stage of the process) and are now ready for the requesting country or territory to initiate the request for TLD Delegation (the final stage of the application process). As of last week, the first three of these have been delegated into the DNS root zone, which means they are available for use.

Arabic has now become the first non-Latin script to be used as an IDN ccTLD. Arabic is among the most highly used languages on the Internet today. The Middle-East has an average Internet penetration of just over 20%, and shows a big potential for growth. Users in the region will now have easier access to the Internet, with the ability to use their primary language for the entire domain name.

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