Conor Neu: ICANN Scheme Strictly for IDN’s?

What if this whole situation proposed by ICANN to allow a larger variety of sites is merely a scheme to make it easier for them to move towards IDN.IDN?

The new decision is to “allow any combination of letters and numbers, including non-latin characters.”  While, I am sure ICANN was considering the geo-extensions when discussing the topic, would not the IDN extensions be an ever bigger, and potentially more profitable, part of the discussion?

IDN’s are domains in non-latin characters in the viewable format (unicode).  However, they are still created out of latin characters underneath (punycode), they just start with an “xn--”, and are a mix of letters that map to the non-latin script.

The inclusions of IDN extensions will be world reaching, as it will completely eliminate latin script characters for entire domains once and for all for languages and people that may not know what latin script characters look like.  This should be extremely motivating for foreign language Internet companies.

What is the market for a .chicago extension?  There are 3 million people in the city, with a majority of them not understanding what a web site called “restaurants.chicago” would mean.  What about the market for a .中国 extension (.china in Chinese)?  There are 1 billion people there and while the letters “.com” may not mean anything to most of them, the Chinese letters .中国 may make absolute sense.

I really think the IDN side of this vTLD expansion is being underestimated and underdiscussed in the domaining world.

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