ICANN's IDN initiative, which has been in the works for several years, was presented Monday at the ICANN board meeting in Seoul, Korea, this week. The proposed launch date for the IDN ccTLD (country-code Top Level Domains) Fast Track Process is Nov. 16.
The move is centered on the increasing growth among global Internet users who do not use Latin-based characters, such as in Chinese, Korean and Arabic languages. A copy of ICANN's proposed rules regarding criteria for participation eligibility, language, technical script criteria and more can be found here.
"This is an extremely important meeting for ICANN, since the IDN program is moving one step closer to reshaping the global Internet landscape," said Rod Beckstrom, ICANN president and CEO, in a statement. "In Seoul, we plan to move forward to the next step in the internationalization of the Internet, which means that eventually people from every corner of the globe will be able to navigate much of the online world using their native language scripts."