ICANN To Start Tests Of Non-English Domains

Next week may begin a test of non-English Internet addresses, enabling local users to create Web pages and domains. If successful, non-English top-level domains, such as ".com" or ".net", could be used by the finish of 2008. ICANN, the group charged with Internet names, said they will test domains in Arabic, Persian, simplified and traditional Chinese, Russian, Japanese, Korean, Greek, Yiddish, Hindi and Tamil.

ICANN said it will use Punycode software to translate the languages into Latin alphabetic and numeric codes understood by "root" servers which act as Internet traffic cops. If the plan is approved, the tests could begin after next week, the AP said. However, the agency will maintain a 24-hour hotline allowing the tests to shut down if problems arise.

News source: AHN Media Corp

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