ICANN Issues the Most Important Changes for the Internet in 40 years

The above Map is derived from a study which shows how the Internet is distributed across the entire world,.

On the heels of our belated Birthday Post for the Internet, also on September 29  ICANN, the organization which has been responsible for regulating Domain Name distribution over the past 11 years has announced landmark changes for the Internet.

The organization said it that it was finalising plans to introduce web addresses using non-Latin characters, or IDNs(International Domain Names).Plans for IDNs were actualy approved at a meeting in June 2008, but  testing of the system has been going on for years.

Peter Dengate Thrush, chairman of the board in charge of reviewing the change comments

You have to appreciate what a fantastically complicated technical feature this is,

What we have created is a different translation system.

The changes will be applied to the net’s Domain Name System. This acts like a phone book, translating easily understood domain names such as bbc.co.uk into strings of computer readable numbers known as IP addresses.

The tweaks will allow this system to recognise and translate the non-Latin characters.

We are confident that it works because we have been testing it for a couple of years. We’re really ready to start rolling it out.

Here is the announcement posted on the ICann site .

Proposed Final Implementation Plan: IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process

30 September 2009

ICANN is pleased to announce the public posting of the Proposed Final Implementation Plan for the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process [PDF, 897K].

The IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process is an important step at making the Internet equally accessible for everyone. It will enable the introduction of a limited number of internationalized country-code top level domain names (IDN ccTLDs). Once implemented, this will be the first time that users can obtain a domain name with the entire string in characters based on their native language. The process will be available to all countries and territories where the official language is based on scripts other than the Latin (extended) script.

The proposed final plan is scheduled for ICANN Board consideration at the ICANN meeting in Seoul, Korea, 26-30 October 2009.

The proposed launch date for the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process is 16 November 2009.

ICANN was set up in 1998 as a way of lessening the U.S. Government’s role in overseeing Internet development and giving it over to the private sector. ICANN was to still report to the government .
Ther has been much criticism over the years that the Government was exerting way to much control over the agency, Last month the Government fianally agreed to ease this control over the non-profit group. An Agreement called The Affirmation  of Commitments was signed and was put into effect on October 1, 2009.ICANN ascertains that “The signing of the Affirmation determines once and for all that this model works”. More information and a video from the CEO of ICANN, Rod beckstrom, can be found here.

The changes that will be enacted over the upcoming months as a result of  this new announcement have huge implications for the Internet and the World , expanding  communication  to many in remote locales with obscure languages who were unable to be a part of the web. It will also extend The World’s  reach to these cultures.

1 Comment

  1. I actually think this is a good move.

    Reply

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