VeriSign expands domain names

VeriSign, the company charged by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) with registering and administrating the.com, .org., and .net domain names, which act as addresses for Web sites, announced on Friday that it has added support for an additional 180 languages, bringing the total number of languages available in which domain names can be registered to more than 350.

Since early November, when VeriSign first began offering multilingual domain names, hundreds of thousands of non-English domains have been registered, with many companies registering the phonetic equivalents of their names in other languages, according to VeriSign.

The new domains allow users whose languages do not rely on the Roman system of letters and numbers to create and register domains in their native writing systems, the company said. The new domain options now include the languages used by roughly 80 percent of the world's population, VeriSign said.

The company also said the multilingual domain-name program is not yet final and that some domains registered now might be invalidated when the program is finalized. Until then, users can start registering domains in Old English, Old Icelandic, Neo-Aramaic, Inner Mongolian, Tamil, Bengali, Armenian, and Esperanto, among others.

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