The company announced a partnership today with domain name registration service register.com that will enable it to offer multilingual domain names ending in ".com", ".net" and ".org" through the i-DNS "Internationalized Domain Name System." The system, already in use by Network Solutions (the Web's largest registrar), will let customers register domain names containing Japanese, Chinese and Korean characters directly from the register.com Web site in the coming months. Other language will have to wait the approval of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which administers policy for the global Internet name and address system.
While Web pages can include text in virtually any language now, because of the Internet's primary development within the U.S. the addresses used to find specific pages have been limited to numbers and Roman characters. i-DNS.net currently allows the registration of Internet domain names in other languages through a "translation"/forwarding technology that recognizes a non-English address request and then forwards it to the original Roman-character URL. A company might have a URL of "www.mycompany.com", for example, but could also register the name in Japanese, so that when the appropriate Japanese Kangi were typed into a Web browser (so long as it's dialed in to a Japanese Internet Service Provider) the company's Web site would be called up.
"Our customers count on register.com to be on the cutting edge of all new domain product development, so adding multilingual domain name registration to our current suite of services is one of our top priorities," says Richard Forman, CEO and President of register.com. "The explosive growth of Internet usage in non-English speaking countries has led to a new market need for reliable, multilingual domain names for Internet users and e-commerce initiatives worldwide. We've found in i-DNS what we believe to be is the highest quality technology solution to offer the ever-growing Internet community."
i-DNS's technology currently supports more than 55 languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese, Hebrew, Russian and Thai. The company claims full compatibility with Internet browsers and seamless operation with the Internet's current Domain Name System.
"The availability of multilingual '.com', '.net' and '.org' domain names is a major step towards the promise of the Internet as a truly global medium for e-business, collaboration and communication", says i-DNS CEO Michael Ng. "Our partnership with register.com will enable the use of native language domain names by the large segment of non-English speaking people in the world. Ultimately, this partnership will help speed adoption of the Internet in emerging markets and bridge the digital divide."