[AfrICANN-discuss] On Its Way: One of the Biggest Changes to the Internet

Anne-Rachel Inné annerachel at gmail.com
Wed Oct 10 08:55:30 SAST 2007

On Its Way: One of the Biggest Changes to the Internet

Internet users have key role in testing the operation of example.test in 11

9 October 2007

* MARINA DEL REY, Calif.*: The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and
Numbers will launch an evaluation of Internationalized Domain Names next
week that will allow Internet users to test top-level domains in 11

"This evaluation represents ICANN's most important step so far towards the
full implementation of Internationalized Domain Names. This will be one of
the biggest changes to the Internet since it was created," said Dr Paul
Twomey, ICANN's President and CEO. "ICANN needs the assistance of users and
application developers to make this evaluation a success. When the
evaluation pages come online next week, we need everyone to get in there and
see how the addresses display and see how links to IDNs work in their
programs. In short, we need them to get in and push it to its limits."

The evaluation is made possible by today's insertion into the root of the 11
versions of .test, which means they are alongside other top-level domains
like .net, .com, .info, .uk, and .de at the core of the Internet.

Next Monday, 15 October 2007, Internet users around the globe will be able
to access wiki pages with the domain name example.test in 11 test languages
— Arabic, Persian, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Russian, Hindi,
Greek, Korean, Yiddish, Japanese and Tamil.

The wikis will allow Internet users to establish their own subpages with
their own names in their own language. The evaluation is being done in the
11 languages of the Internet communities that have shown the most interest
in moving IDNs from concept to reality.

The full introduction of IDNs will mean that people can write the whole of a
domain name in the characters used to write their own language. Presently
you can only use these characters before the dot, so .com, .net, .org and
the like can only be written in characters from basic Latin. IDNs will
change this so that literally tens of thousands of characters will be
available to the world.

"Right now only the ASCII characters a through z are available for use in
top level labels — the part of the address after the dot," Dr Twomey added.
"Users will be able to have their name in their language for their Internet
when full IDN implementation makes available tens of thousands of characters
from the languages of world."

More information on the IDN program is available at:
http://icann.org/topics/idn/ <http://www.icann.org/topics/idn/>

Links to the wikis will be available on ICANN's website starting 15 October

* About ICANN: *

ICANN is responsible for the global coordination of the Internet's system of
unique identifiers like domain names (like .org, .museum and country codes
like .uk) and the addresses used in a variety of Internet protocols that
help computers reach each other over the Internet. Careful management of
these resources is vital to the Internet's operation, so ICANN's global
stakeholders meet regularly to develop policies that ensure the Internet's
ongoing security and stability. ICANN is an internationally organized,
public benefit non-profit company. For more information please visit:

*Media Contacts: *

Jason Keenan
Media Adviser, ICANN (USA)
Ph: +1 310 382 4004
E: jason.keenan at icann.org

International: Andrew Robertson
Edelman (London)
Ph: +44 7921 588 770
E: andrew.robertson at edelman.com
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