Until today, domain names such as www.yahoo.com could only be registered by using the English alphabet. Powered with technology developed by i-DNS.net, users will be able to sign up with KSC, Loxinfo, and CS Internet for domain names using the Thai script.
The i-DNS system co-exists with the current Domain Name System (DNS) and supports 36 major non-English languages, including Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian, Arabic, French, German etc. At the same time, it is fully compatible with commonly used Internet browsers and inter-operable with the existing domain name system. Currently, domain names are available in the local language equivalent of ".com;" i-DNS.net will facilitate the simultaneous release of alternate extensions such as ".org" and ".net" as and when they become available.
Said Michael Ng, CEO of I-DNS.net, "With over 80 percent of the world population being non-native English speakers, i-DNS bridges the gap that has previously hindered Internet access for such users. These users can now access, interact and do business on the Web in the language of their choice."
"The DNS system was set up to make it easier for people to access websites by matching specific IP addresses with a given English name. With Internet access now available in Thai, all Thai people can find the website of their choice more easily without spending time with an alien language. Our three registrars can provide Internet accounts with Thai domain names such as ," added Mr Ng.
Mr. Pradit Pinyopasakul, Senior Manager, Business Development Department, Internet KSC Group, said, "In order to facilitate a wider use of the Internet, domain names in Thai language will be introduced. Thai people will therefore be able to register any Internet domain name in the Thai language with KSC Commercial Internet Co., Ltd. This technology empowers non-English speakers to connect to the Internet effortlessly and helps people interact on the Internet with the language they are most comfortable with. Thai domain names will prove useful not only to users familiar with Thai language web addresses they can also be used for to telnet server name, ftp server name and even e-mail addresses. Meanwhile, KSC will continue to provide the best quality services to our customers."
Dr.Viriya Upatising, Vice President in Research and Development, Loxley Information Services Co. Ltd. said, "Currently, Thailand is estimated to have 5,000 local websites, up from 1,000 last year. Of these, approximately 3,000 websites have registered their domain names with Thai hosts. With i-DNS enabling the use of Thai language domain names on the Internet, we believe that this will attract more new website registrations and more Internet users."
Mr. Thanapong, Na Ranong, Head of Marketing Team, CS Internet, elaborated, "Now that they can interact and do business in a language of their choice, non-English speaking users will find it less intimidating to use the Internet. This enabling technology will undoubtedly facilitate the opening up and growth of new e-commerce markets, in particular in Thailand, which is expected to show an increasing volume of Internet usage in the near future."
At the launch, Mr Ng expressed great admiration for the three Thai ISPs. "Our deployment strategy has always been to work with major local players - people who know their market best. In this respect, KSC, CS Internet and LoxInfo are all well-positioned and continue to impress us with their enthusiasm and professionalism. We look forward to a long-lasting synergistic relationship to realize the vision of an Internet equally accessible to one and all."
To encourage the registration of Thai domain names, the ISPs have agreed to waive the subscription for subscribers who register for this service within the first three months. "Together, we will facilitate the transition beyond the English-centric cyberspace and work towards an Internet without barriers. With i-DNS, this can now be a reality," said Mr Ng.
As a business and investment proposition, Mr. Ng is confident of the potential of i-DNS technology in the global marketplace. Considering that Internet user growth in the Asia Pacific region is expected to increase significantly over the next five years (according to a forecast by International Data Corporation), i-DNS.net is well positioned to play a pivotal role in integrating the Asian Internet markets.
The i-DNS technology of i-DNS.net is the result of over two years of intensive research and development at the National University of Singapore under the auspices of APNG (Asia Pacific Network Group). With financial backing from US-based General Atlantic Partners LLC, i-DNS.net was incorporated in October 1999.