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Old 5th April 2011, 11:59 PM
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ICANN 2010 Annual report

The opening of
internationalized domain
names is a key expression of
ICANN’s commitment to the
global Internet. A truly free
Internet is a global one, where
language is not an obstacle
to access and anyone can
connect to anyone anywhere.
Internationalized domain names
open the door to billions of
users whose primary language
is expressed in a non-Latin
script to participate online using
only that language.
Thirtyfive countries and territories
have requested fast track
consideration of their IDN
country code top-level domain

Internationalized domain names
enable the use of non-Latin script
in top-level domains, empowering
millions of users around the world to
access the Internet in their primary
In 2010, internationalized domain
names were introduced at the
top level of the Domain Name
System. After decades of ASCII,
or Western, script and years of
anticipation and hard work by the
technical and policy communities,
the Internet is finally learning new
language scripts.
As of the end of fiscal year 2010,
four internationalized domain
name ccTLDs were entered in the
DNS root zone, representing four
countries or territories and two
languages: Arabic and Russian.
Character strings in Chinese,
Sinhalese, Tamil, and Thai soon
While great strides have been
made in using these languages
and scripts on web sites and in
email, until recently non-Latin
scripts could not be used in
top-level domains. ICANN’s 2007
introduction of test IDNs to the root
zone enabled a way forward.
A fast track process was
approved in November 2009,
and 2010 ushered in the first
IDN ccTLDs inserted in the DNS
root zone: Egypt, Russia, Saudi
Arabia and the United Arab
Emirates. Applications from many
additional counties and territories
followed, and today IDN ccTLDs
representing many languages are
in the root.
Many more are expected to go live
through the fast track process, the
new gTLD process
or a long-term
process for IDN ccTLDs that the
ccNSO is developing.
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