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Network Solutions Registry Announces Statement of Direction On Multilingual Domain Names
NSI Registry to Work With i-DNS.net and Other Technology Providers To Enable Multilingual Domain Names on the Internet

Online, Forbes.com, 22 August 2000 --

The Network Solutions Registry (NSI Registry), a division of Network Solutions, Inc., a VeriSign (NASDAQ: VRSN) company and the world's leading provider of Internet locator services with more than 19 million names registered, announced a statement of direction that seeks to improve the international accessibility and functionality of the Internet by allowing users to register domain names in non-English languages.

To be successful and gain worldwide acceptance, a multilingual domain name solution must integrate with existing Internet protocols and applications. NSI Registry's approach is to ensure current and future compliance with evolving internationalized domain name standards developed within the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), and adherence to the Internet Architecture Board (IAB) principle of a single Domain Name System (DNS) root.

"The Domain Name System is one of the most critical components of the Internet's infrastructure and our leadership makes it 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."

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. NSI Registry selected i-DNS.net International (i-DNS.net) to supply technology enabling the rapid introduction of the test bed. i-DNS.net and other various technology providers will also supply the registrars with a utility to interface with the test bed. i-DNS.net, backed by US-based General Atlantic Partners LLC, has developed a powerful technology solution that complies with ASCII Compatible Encoding (ACE) and fully supports UTF-5, UTF-8, RACE, and all common local encoding. It is built upon Unicode and currently supports more than 55 languages and their respective multiple encoding. While development of Internet standards for multilingual DNS technology are still evolving, the i-DNS.net technology is flexible and can be modified to support virtually any implementation of the final standard.

While the Internet is one of the most inclusive, widely available technologies ever developed, non-English language usage is still a significant barrier. One of the functions of the DNS is to translate domain names, or Web addresses (e.g., www.nsiregistry.com) into computer-friendly numeric IP addresses, such as 198.431.3.55. 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. "We look forward to working with NSI Registry to enable more Internet users around the world to communicate in their native languages and character sets."

More details regarding NSI Registry's ongoing multilingual DNS efforts, including the test bed, will be made available over the next few weeks.

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.

About VeriSign
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.

-- i-DNS.net shall not be held liable for the views and opinions of the authors expressed herein.
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