Conclusions

We have suggested in previous reports that IDNs may be suffering from a negative cycle. Without universal acceptance across applications and email, the user experience of IDNs remains poor. Users lack incentives to use IDNs, and therefore registrations are not yet achieving their potential. The knock-on effect is that many Internet users are simply unaware of IDNs, even those in countries and territories where one might expect a high uptake.

IDN perception and penetration are likely to be influenced by multiple factors, including the way IDNs were introduced at the second and/or top-level, the way new and old end-users decide to be present online and whether local registries and registrars offer proactive marketing initiatives. These factors combined serve to raise awareness and DNS literacy in a country or region. At the most basic level, users don’t always understand that it is possible to register domain names in local language scripts.

Confidence in a product or service within the supply chain is essential for success, and it is hoped that advances in universal acceptance will improve confidence levels.