MEP Slams Bulgarian Govt for Falling Behind with Cyrillic Internet Domains
Bulgaria’s government is failing to facilitate the process for the introduction Internet domains in Cyrillic, Bulgarian Member of the European Parliament Ivaylo Kalfin declared after meeting the ICANN management in DC.
“The unwillingness of the Bulgarian government to provide arguments and to enter into a dialogue is an obstacle for the country and the EU as a whole for the registration of domains in Cyrillic,” said Kalfin, who was the Foreign Minister in the Stanishev Cabinet (2005-2009).
Kalfin has been received by Stephen Crocker who became Chair of the ICANN Board in June 2011, and by three of the Vice Presidents of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in Washington.
Even though back in 2009 ICANN approved in principle the registration of non-Latin domains, Bulgaria does not have a domain of its own in Cyrillic yet.
In March 2011, ICANN technically rejected Bulgaria’s second attempt to register a domain name in Cyrillic with a “.бг” suffix, saying the country had slim chances for that.
ICANN refused to accept Bulgaria’s proposal for a domain name in Cyrillic with a “бг” suffix in May 2010, citing the similarity with Brazil’s domain name with a “.br” suffix as the reason for the rejection.
Bulgarians selected the now rejected “.бг” suffix with a large majority during the first poll, which showed the second most preferred suffix to be “.бгр”.
A poll, proposing four new versions for a Bulgarian domain in Cyrillic, was published at the end of July 2011 on the official site of the Transport and IT Ministry in a bid to pick the one with the largest public approval. The new versions that are subject to public discussion are “.българия,” “.бгр,” “бул” and/ or “.бя.”
The procedure for registering internet addresses with alphabets different than Latin was officially launched on November 16, 2009.
At the beginning of May three Mideast countries and Russia became the first to get Internet addresses entirely in non-Latin characters.
Domain names in Arabic for Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were added to the Internet‘s master directories, following final approval last month by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. A suffix for Russia in Cyrillic was also added to the list shortly afterward.
ICANN said it has received a total of 21 requests for such domains representing 11 languages so far. This was the first major change to the Internet domain name system since its creation in the 1980s.
During his meeting with Bulgarian MEP Kalfin, ICANN Board Chair Stephen Crocker has encouraged the EU to be more active with respect to the introduction of the new Internet protocol IPv6, the alternative to the already exhausted IPv4. According to ICANN, there will be no more addresses available for Europe and the Middle East under IPv4 by 2012.
While IPv4 is limited to 4.3 billion IP addresses, IPv6 has a capacity of 340 undecillion (340 trillion trillion) unique addresses, providing a solution to the problem with the rising number of IP addresses for mobile devices.
Even though the EC participated in the global day of IPv6 on June 8, the Commission as a whole believes that the transition is expensive and harbors many technical difficulties.