Internationalized Domain Names

Internationalized Domain Names

Because the Internet originated in the Western hemisphere, naming protocols for web domains and email addresses historically did not work with any characters except those in the Latin alphabet. More than half of all Internet users do not read English or other Roman scripts such as Spanish. For these millions of Internet users – and a billion more to come -- Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) represent their first chance to navigate the web using familiar, local languages and scripts. Today, with the new gTLD program, almost any word in any language can be a TLD. This video, shot at the ICANN meeting in Seoul, October 2009, honors the years of effort invested in leading up to the milestone date of November 16, 2009, when ICANN began accepting requests from around the world for domain name extensions made up of non-Roman characters.