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Internationalized Domain Names
Study Group 17 (Security, languages and telecommunication software) has been instructed by Resolution 48 of the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (Florianópolis, 2004) to study Internationalized Domain Names (IDN). It is considered that implementation of IDN will contribute to easier and greater use of the Internet in those countries where the native or official languages are not represented in IRA (International Reference Alphabet) characters.

To meet this obligation, Study Group 17 developed new Question 16, Internationalized Domain Names tasked in particular to investigate specific and relevant issues in the field of IDN. The mandate for Question 16 is available on the Study Group 17 website.

Question 16 was approved at the April 2006 Study Group 17 meeting in Jeju, Korea. At this meeting Question 16 drafted a questionnaire for a Circular to Member States, requesting information on their experiences in the use of IDN. TSB Circular 96 was issued on 31 May 2006.

The purpose of this page is to share information on work progress, achievements and acquired knowledge in the field of IDN.  
 Introduction to Internationalized Domain Names (IDN)
The abbreviation IDN stands for Internationalized Domain Name, also called a multilingual domain name. Normal (traditional) domain names are limited to the character set consisting of Latin letters (A-Z case ignored so includes a-z), digits (0-9) and the hyphen (-), called LDH (Latin, Digits, Hyphen) characters below. An IDN is a domain name that contains characters from the Unicode repertoire, and therefore may contain letters with diacritics, as required by many European languages, or characters drawn from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese.

Though there are many concepts for implementing IDNs, the only recognized (standard) mechanism is called IDNA (Internationalized Domain Names in Applications), and was agreed by the IETF’s IDN Working Group. It was announced by IETF as a proposed standard in March 2003. The proposed standard encompasses the following IETF RFCs: RFC 3490, RFC 3491, RFC 3492. (...more)
 Standards Material
 IDN Developments
  • National
  • Other Resources
  • Results of the questionnaire
    [01 December 2006: Replies received from Korea, Japan, Singapore, Finland, Suriname, Armenia, Canada, United Arab Emirates, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Seychelles, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Germany, Hong Kong (China), Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Kuwait, Venezuela, Turkey, Vatican, France, Qatar, China]
 Presentations on IDN
 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


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Updated : 2009-01-21