16 November 2009

IGF - Commission welcomes landmark step towards a truly global internet

At the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Sharm El Sheikh (Egypt), the European Commission has s welcomed a landmark step towards a truly global (and local) internet: the announcement that "Internationalised Domain Names" will be introduced at the top level. Until now, internet domain names were either fully or partly in the Latin "a to z" alphabet. ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), which manages the internet's core directory, has announced that a fast track process would be launched today to open up country code top level domains (like ".eu" of europa.eu) to non Latin characters. This means that Europeans, especially in Greece, Bulgaria and Cyprus, will be able to see domain names in their own alphabets. Viviane Reding, the EU's telecoms and internet Commissioner, heralded this major multilingual development. She also called for the timeframe of the Internet Governance Forum - a unique multi-stakeholder dialogue platform for the global internet community - to be extended. See also Why the Internet must be open, global and multilingual Opening speech by Viviane Reding Member of the European Commission responsible for Information Society and Media at the Internet Governance Forum Sharm El Sheikh, 15 November 2009.