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BizReport : Domain Names : November 02, 2009

ICANN fast-tracking alternative domain extensions

.com, .org, .uk, .ca. Amid the plethora of domain extensions and country extensions now available, there are about to be millions more as plans are in the works to add domain extensions based on non-Roman alphabets. The move comes based on plans from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) which would allow domain extensions to be written based on Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese and Korean characters in addition to those using the Roman-based alphabet now.

by Kristina Knight

For example, the code part of a domain extension for a South Korean business or government office, would now be written using Korean characters. Currently these ">domain extensions, such as .kr for South Korea, use the Roman alphabet in the code.

The ICANN plan will allow governments to begin requesting these domains as of November 16, 2009. The first domains will then go live sometime in 2010.

The move should make a veritable unlimited number of new domains available to businesses, governments and brands. The question is: are all of these entities ready for this type of transition?

For example, Top Level Domain (TLDs) extensions which currently number about 20 will quickly expand to at least 500. This could be a boon to brands which have the ability to create engaging content. But, this also presents problems as brands will have to monitor even more potential domain extensions which could be using a version of their name for nefarious purposes or those would want to harm the brand.

Tags: domain extension, domain names, domain page, domains, ICANN, top level domain

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  • This is a great step by ICANN towards globalization of the net. Always made more sense that a Russian website had a URL also in Russian

    Christopher Hofman

    European Domain Centre



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