Bulgaria's Uninet Starts Selling Domains in Cyrillic

Business | October 24, 2007, Wednesday // 00:00

Internet users in Bulgaria can now experiment with their name in their language on their Internet after the launch of the sale of domain names in Cyrillic. The selling company is called Uninet Association in cooperation with i-DNS.net International.

In 1999, i-DNS.net pioneered the Internationalized Domain Name System, becoming the first Registry to resolve, administer, and deploy full multilingual, native-character domain names. To date, i-DNS.net supports domain name registrations in more than 60 languages, and the list continues to grow.

The first domains on sale will be the .bg, .info and .ime zones, written in Bulgarian. The users can buy domains in these zones by the members and the registrars of Uninet. Every Internet provider can become a registrar of Uninet on several simple conditions.

The first Internet provider, which became a registrar of domains written in Bulgarian alphabet in Cyrillic, is BG8. The only thing the Internet providers must do to help users use the domains in Cyrillic is to add a small setting in the DNS servers -

Currently Uninet is negotiating with the Bulgarian Internet providers, which will allow the use of the domains in Cyrillic before they are officially approved by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) next year.

Since the Internet came into widespread use, those among the 70 percent of the world that doesn't speak English have argued that the Web is inaccessible.

Currently ICANN conducts a test to see whether domains written entirely in foreign scripts can work without crashing the Net. For several years, the company has allowed domains that are half in foreign characters, such as [Chinese text].com or [Arabic text].org. For the test, domain names will look like [Korean text].[Korean text].

Qestions of political and linguistic sovereignty, alongside accusations of American "digital colonialism," have motivated some countries to create their own Internets, effectively mounting a challenge to the World Wide Web. Experts say the difficulties of typing in a foreign script have probably held back development of online economies abroad.

The full introduction of IDNs will mean that people can write the whole of a domain name in the characters used to write their own language. Presently you can only use these characters before the dot, so .com, .net, .org and the like can only be written in characters from basic Latin. IDNs will change this so that literally tens of thousands of characters will be available to the world.

The "example.test" labels with the associated scripts, the languages that were used for translation of the two terms "example" and "test", and the A-labels for second and top level that are inserted in the IDN TLD zones and DNS respectively.

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