i-DNS.net, backed by US-based General Atlantic Partners LLC, has developed a flexible Unicode-based technology that supports Row-based ASCII Compatible Encoding (RACE), UTF-5, UTF-8 and all common local encoding. It is fully compatible with commonly used Internet browsers and inter-operable with the current Domain Name System (DNS).
In the coming months, NSI Registry will open a test bed that will allow registration of multilingual domain names through the more than 60 active ICANN-accredited registrars. i-DNS.net is the first multi-lingual internet technology provider to enable popular .com, .net and .org domain names to be registered in non-English languages.
"Our pioneering work with the Internationalized Domain Name System (i-DNS) has resulted in a stable and robust technology platform on which to develop multilingual Internet DNS-based applications," says Michael Ng, CEO of i-DNS.net. "We are proud to be working with NSI Registry and would like to invite all interested parties to join us in the next chapter of Internet history beyond an English-centric cyberspace. Together, we can help enable more Internet users around the world to communicate in their native languages and character sets."
"As the keeper of the most critical Internet infrastructure, the Domain Name System, it is incumbent upon us to facilitate the global accessibility of Web addresses," says Bruce Chovnick, General Manager of the NSI Registry. "Above all else, we are committed to the adoption of multilingual standards and we plan to engage in the Internet community's efforts towards that goal."
While Internet standards for multilingual DNS technologies are still evolving at the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), i-DNS.net's solution is flexible enough to support virtually any implementation of the final standard.
The Internet is one of the most inclusive, widely available technologies ever developed. However, language is still a significant barrier. One of the functions of the DNS is to translate human-friendly domain names, or Web addresses (e.g., www.we-multilingual.com) into computer-friendly numeric IP addresses, such as 126.96.36.199.
Although there are a large number of sites on the Web that cater to audiences in their native languages, all of them require that the domain name be an English language character set. This has forced some sites to use unconventional names to make them more familiar and easily remembered by their audience. For example, a few non-English Web sites use a string of numbers as their domain name because a number is easier for many non-English speaking people to remember than an unfamiliar English name.
"It is ironic and unfortunate that many people around the world have had to resort to using a number as a domain name," says Michael Ng, CEO of i-DNS.net. "In the New Economy, domain names are virtual electronic brands and customers are going to appreciate the need for localized domain names in the local language."
Non-English Internet users currently comprise an estimated 40% of Internet users worldwide. This is projected to increase to 60% of Internet users worldwide by 2003.
i-DNS.net has already launched its service in many markets, including Singapore, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Japan, Egypt, USA and looks set to expand its reach even further with this agreement.
About Network Solutions Registry
The Network Solutions Registry division is the leading provider of Internet locator services and is an independent division within Network Solutions, Inc., a VeriSign (NASDAQ: VRSN) company. The Registry maintains the definitive directory of over 19 million web addresses and is responsible for the infrastructure that propagates this information throughout the Internet and responds to over 1.5 billion DNS look-ups daily. As the exclusive provider of registry services to .com, .net, and .org, the Registry currently supports 61 active ICANN accredited registrars operating in 16 countries around the globe. For more information, see the www.nsiregistry.com web site.
VeriSign, Inc. is the leading provider of trusted infrastructure services to Web sites, enterprises, electronic commerce service providers and individuals. The company's domain name, digital certificate and payment services provide the critical web identity, authentication and transaction infrastructure that online businesses need to conduct secure e-commerce and communications. VeriSign's services are available through its websites (www.verisign.com and www.netsol.com) or through its direct sales force and reseller partners around the world.