IDN ccTLDs – The First Four

by Tina Dam on May 13, 2010

The last week has been focused on historic IDN accomplishments and news: The first four IDN ccTLDs have been introduced and are all functioning.

The corresponding countries are:
United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Russian Federation, and Egypt.

This essentially means that we have started seeing domain names where the top-level/extension is either: امارات. السعودية. .рф مصر.

Congratulations to the teams behind:

• United Arab Emirates: امارات.
• Saudi Arabia: السعودية.
• Russian Federation: .рф
• Egypt: مصر.

The simultaneous delegation of the three Arabic based IDN ccTLDs was completed last week, and the delegation of the Russian IDN ccTLD was completed this week in conjunction with the Russian Internet Governance Forum: http://russia2010.intgov.net/eng/program.php

This is an history milestone and an achievement reached due to years of hard work by so many people across the world, including: technical developments with the core group in the IETF’s IDNA protocol working group; development of the policies and procedures; application development to ensure IDNs work across browser and other software; and so forth.

ICANN would like to thank everyone involved in making IDN TLDs a reality, and we look forward to seeing how IDN TLDs are embraced by users globally, and to the introduction of the next group of IDN ccTLDs. The full list will continue to be updated and can be found here: http://icann.org/en/topics/idn/fast-track/string-evaluation-completion-en.htm

Some of the milestones leading to the last week’s great IDN result:

12 May 2010: Delegation of the Russian Federation IDN ccTLD

5 May 2010: Simultaneous delegation of the three first IDN ccTLDs for United Arabic Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt.

22 April 2010: ICANN Board approval of the first four country delegations, for Saudi Arabia, United Arabic Emirates, Russian Federation, and Egypt.

21 January 2010: ICANN announces the first four IDN ccTLD requests as having completed step 2 (of 3) in the Fast Track Process, thereby the requested IDN ccTLDs have been approved.

16 November 2009: ICANN launches the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process thereby opening up for countries and territories to submit requests for IDN ccTLDs.

30 October 2009: ICANN Board approves the Final Implementation Plan for the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process, and announces the launch.

Oct 2008: First draft implementation plan for IDN ccTLD Process

Feb 2008: First report from the IDNC WG leading to IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process

Jun 2003: IDNA protocol, IDN Guidelines, initiation of browser implementation

An area of the ICANN website is dedicated to IDN resources, and includes links to all the milestones and news announcements: http://www.icann.org/en/topics/idn/

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Bashar Al-Abdulhadi 05.13.10 at 4:10 am

Congratulations, looking forward for more rich arabic content for the arabic community!

عبدالعزيز الزومان 05.13.10 at 10:49 am

Yes indeed, Thursday, May 6, 2010 (in our MiddleEast time), is considered as a historical day for our region. Congratulation to all, particularly to brothers and sisters in UAE and Egypt.

In Saudi Arabia, SaudiNIC announced that Thursday, May 6, 2010 is the official day for actual launching Arabic domain names registration in Saudi Arabia (see http://www.nic.net.sa/page.php?page=9&lang=1) . The Saudi Arabic domain names registration was actually began by successfully registering and operating the first range of Arabic domain names under the new Saudi IDN ccTLD (.السعودية). These are:

سجل.السعودية
موقع.السعودية
مركزالتسجيل.السعودية
مركز-التسجيل.السعودية
دليل.السعودية

By this, CITC (Communications and Information Technology Commission) represented by SaudiNIC had achieved a historical record by making Saudi Arabia the first country in the region to launch the actual Arabic domain name registration on the Internet. This came as a result of continued efforts and supports to the use of Arabic domain names (Arabic IDN), which are carried out by SaudiNIC over the last ten years. These accomplished through persistently demanding of Arabic domain names in international forums and actively contributing to the development of specifications and supporting tools for Arabic domain names. Additionally, SaudiNIC was managing the Arab pilot project for Arabic domain names, which was implemented under the umbrella of the League of Arab States.

It should be noted that Saudi Arabia is the first country in the region that has announced to its citizen the dates of opening the registration for Arabic domain names. The opening registration will be done in two phases:

Sunrise Phase: The period extending from 10:00 AM on Monday 31th of May 2010, to 10:00 AM on Monday 12th July 2010.
Landrush Phase: The phase when SaudiNIC shall begin accepting applications for registration of Arabic domain names from members of the general public. The Landrush phase starts from 10:00 AM on Monday 27th September 2010.

For more information:
Nic.net.sa
سجل.السعودية
دليل.السعودية

Tina Dam 05.13.10 at 7:43 pm

@عبدالعزيز الزومان
congratulations again, and thank you for providing the links and additional launch information. One of the main questions we are receiving currently about the Arabic IDN ccTLDs is from users, on how to make their domain name registration – so this is very relevant and valued information.

Here at the RIGF meeting in Moscow, we had a panel session on the topic of IDNs, and I had the opportunity to recognize the hard work done by so many people around the world. The joint approach across time zones, expertise, and geographic borders has been quite an amazing part of the IDN launch (both back in 2001-03 for the second level and until now for the top level). Notwithstanding this great work in technical, policy and political areas, I would like to restate a couple of observations about these first four IDN ccTLD managers and their participation in the overall approach. While you all four have worked on all aspects in relation to the launch of IDNs, and jointly on the areas I am listing below, you do stand out to me on these specific areas:

UAE: for their leadership in upgrading their registry software to support Arabic script by implementing the revised version of the IDNA technical protocol http://www.aeda.ae/aeda/eng/news_10.php. The revised IDNA had a particular positive outcome for the Arabic script, by allowing additional characters to be used, and hence the implementation of that protocol will greatly benefit the Arabic region. For more IDNA protocol information see: http://www.icann.org/en/topics/idn/rfcs.htm

Saudi-Arabia: for leading the Arabic Domain Names Pilot Project, under the auspices of the Arab League. This to allow all Arab countries to early experience the use of Arabic domain names, identify their needs, agree on standards, locate possible problems, and develop required tools and policies. This testbed helped the establishment and implementation of Arabic domain names, by gaining experience with such domain names and the sharing of such experience in the global Internet community. For more details about the project and SaudiNIC see: http://arabic-domains.org/

Russian Federation: for a strong political support for the introduction of what is the first Cyrillic IDN ccTLD. The introduction of Cyrillic, due to its visual closeness to the Latin characters and thereby domain names as we have been used to for years, required careful decisions about the implementation and registration policies. This to best possible protect users from being confused about whether an address is Cyrillic or Latin, which further will help the overall user experience. The Russian IDN ccTLD was celebrated in Moscow at their first Russian Internet Governance Forum: http://russia2010.intgov.net

Egypt: for their leadership in co-chairing the policy development process which lead to the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process. That is, the process by which countries and territories, in an initial and limited fashion can request IDN ccTLDs which represent their respective country/territory names. The policy development was conducted by collaboration of the ccNSO, GAC, GNSO, At-large, and technical community (formed as the IDNC working group) and as such is considered a major undertaking and one of the processes build with broadest community and stakeholder participation. The IDNC WG is completed as the process is launched, historic details can be found here: http://ccnso.icann.org/workinggroups/idncwg.htm

Tina Dam
Senior Director IDNs
ICANN

ture religion 05.19.10 at 1:08 am

Congratulations, looking forward for more rich arabic content for the arabic community!

jamesjn 03.29.11 at 8:57 am

By this, CITC (Communications and Information Technology Commission) represented by SaudiNIC had achieved a historical record by making Saudi Arabia the first country in the region to launch the actual Arabic domain name registration on the Internet. This came as a result of continued efforts and supports to the use of Arabic domain names (Arabic IDN), which are carried out by SaudiNIC over the last ten years. These accomplished through persistently demanding of Arabic domain names in international forums and actively contributing to the development of specifications and supporting tools for Arabic domain names. Additionally, SaudiNIC was managing the Arab pilot project for Arabic domain names, which was implemented under the umbrella of the League of Arab States.

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