IDNs in 2009?

ZDNet is reporting that Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs) could be fully operational in 2009 following the current trial.

Edmon Chung, CEO of DotAsia, told ZDNet Asia last week that he is involved in a number of ICANN working groups that are working to debut IDNs and it is “possible” that this could take place “early next year”.

“1999 was the year [in which] IDNs were first discussed; hopefully in 2009 we will see it happen,” Chung said in an interview with ZDNet on the sidelines of E-Commerce Asia Summit 2008 in Singapore.

The launch of IDNs does not just revolve around technical issues, “it’s also a lot to do with policies or even politics”. It requires a great deal of international cooperation too, he added.

“For instance, a letter in the upper case and one in the lower case is considered to be the same, but simplified Chinese and traditional Chinese characters may not be considered the same. A policy decision has to be taken to require that simplified and traditional Chinese characters be mapped together so that when businesses register a domain, they are not made to register multiple versions.”

“‘[That’s just] one very obvious issue,’ said Chung ‘There are many of these issues in different languages to deal with as well and that’s why it’s taking so long.'”

To read more of ZDNet’s article and its interview with Edmon Chung, see www.zdnetasia.com/news/internet/0,39044908,62040005,00.htm.