Every year, our registry survey participants are asked what single change would improve uptake of IDNs. The responses are free-text, and no suggestions are given.
This year, we had 37 responses to this question, compared with 43 responses last year (measuring opinions in 2016), and similar to the number of responses for 2015. As in previous years, two broad themes come through from the responses: the need to improve universal acceptance (46%), ie support for IDNs across browsers, email, and Internet applications, and the need for an increase in user awareness (24%) through marketing or price promotions. Other comments mentioned the need to improve user interfaces and offerings (such as bundling services or easy renewal) and highlighted limited market demand for IDNs in their country or region, given the limited usage of particular languages.
The need for universal acceptance of IDNs remains the most frequently highlighted issue by survey respondents. Almost half of those who responded to the question this year, highlighted universal acceptance as the ‘single change’ needed to improve uptake. Since our survey began, the overall trend indicates an increase in industry players highlighting universal acceptance as the key challenge standing in the way of greater uptake of IDNs by the public. It may be that opinions are being influenced by a greater availability of research, as well as initiatives such as the ICANN Universal Acceptance Steering Group.