IDN domains (internationalised domain names) . It’s a really horrible acronym, but once you get past that, the actual concept is a lot more interesting.
If you follow the technology press you’ll have seen quite a lot of coverage of IDN domains in the last few weeks, as ICANN announced during the recent Seoul meeting that they’d launch them on 16th November 2009 (today).
The ICANN blog reports that they’ve already received 6 requests, representing 3 different languages. Reports coming in suggest that Egypt has expressed interest in launching an IDN in Arabic, Bulgaria is applying for a Cyrillic script one, Russia will have lodged an application for at least one as well (or are in the process of doing so..)
What does this mean?
For the moment it’s hard to say, but the launch of IDN domain names is a step along the path towards a more multicultural and multilingual internet.
The more people who have access to the Internet then the better it will be for everyone ..