This week, international domain names that can be written in languages other than English, are likely to be approved by members of ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers).
A member meeting taking place in Seoul should confirm the change by Friday which will see the potential for web addresses in Arabic, Korean, Japanese, Greek, Hindi and Cyrillic become available for use.
Rod Beckstrom (keynote speaker of The Next Web Conference 2007), ICANN’s new president and CEO, said that if the change is approved, ICANN would begin accepting applications for non-English domain names and that the first entries into the system would likely come sometime in mid 2010.
The greatest obstacle will be the creation of a translation system that allows multiple scripts to be converted to the right address but ICANN are confident that after years of testing, the systems works reliably.
ICANN, formed in 1998 by the US government, was recently given more autonomy after Washington relaxed its control over how the Internet is run.
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