EURid-UNESCO world report on internationalised domain names deployment 2012

This report provides an extraordinary and interesting examination of the uptake of Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs) in selected regions and countries in which Internet services are available. IDNs are an essential building block towards creating a truly multilingual Internet. The Domain Name System (DNS) has historically only supported a limited character set. Since 1996, the technical community has been developing the standards necessary to create domain names in all scripts, for all languages.

This World Report follows on from the EURid-UNESCO 2011 study, which found that there was a significant correlation between IDNs and local language. The current document presents quantitative data on the deployment of IDNs in 2012. With a data set comprising 90% of domain name registrations across all top-level domains, the report makes comparisons with the previous year, analysing data provided by 79 TLD registries across Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania, and country case studies on IDN deployment in the Russian Federation, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the Republic of Korea.

The document identifies obstacles to be overcome before universality for IDNs can be achieved. In general, registering and using IDNs remains an inconsistent, unsatisfactory experience for many Internet users. Uptake of IDNs in some regions (for example, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Korea) is higher than in others. The EURid-UNESCO World Report explores this disparity and concludes that factors such as language, culture and infrastructure on the one hand, and ccTLD factors on the other, combine to impact IDN uptake in a region.

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