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MENAFN - Muscat Daily - 13/05/2014
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(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Delegates from around 14 countries along with those from organisations such as Google and Microsoft on Monday continued their discussions on universal acceptance of the Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs - Internet domain names in characters other than English alphabets), and the opportunities and challenges ahead for IDN.

The meeting  at Grand Hyatt Muscat, is being hosted by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) under the umbrella of the Asia Pacific Top Level Domain (APTLD) association.

This is the first time that an APTLD meeting is being held in Muscat to discuss and debate the number of changing variables in the fast-growing world of Internet.

Don Hollander, general manager at APTLD highlighted the importance of this meeting by saying, ''The Middle East is an important and growing part of our community and the issues that we are talking about at the meeting “ IDNs “ are very relevant to the region. In addition, Oman is a country-code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) that has clearly been working over the past few years to beef up its skills and resources and seems to be ready to grow its capabilities.''

Mohammed al Kindi, executive manager, regulatory and compliance unit, TRA, said that such meetings provide a platform to discuss and share global concerns. ''We got our own ccTLD (.om) a couple of years back, and we can surely learn from the participating countries' experiences to manage and utilise domain names (ccTLd & IDN) in an optimal way. At the same time, we will present and showcase what we have achieved in this area,'' said Kindi.

TRA continues to push companies to register their websites on the Arabic domain or .om domain. As of April 2014, the total number of registered domain names reached 2020.

The Arabic domain name was introduced in Oman in 2012 with the aim to facilitate net browsing for Arabic speakers. But the project has not got the desired number of registrations.

A total of 1,451 existing ccTLDs were migrated to the new registry system when TRA took over the .om registry administration from Omantel in 2012. Since then 569 new domain names have been registered consisting of both .om ccTLD and …† .IDN.

Hilal al Siyabi, media & consumer affairs manager, TRA, said that the meeting focused on how to make the best use of language specific domain names (IDNs) in the Arab world and also in Asian countries like India and China. ''IDNs help search engines identify their content as related to a geographical area which can contribute in making the website appear higher in search results. Creating Arabic domains is another way to enhance Arabic language content on the Internet,'' he said. The three-day meeting will conclude on


Muscat Daily

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