This year’s TLDcon was the 13th International conference for ccTLD registries and registrars in Central and Eastern Europe. Since 2008, the Coordination Center for the Russian TLD, .RU/.РФ has hosted this international conference, and this year saw a record number of participants, with 265 representatives from 30 different countries. The conference draws together regional ccTLD registries into discussions on industry issues including Universal Acceptance and an increasingly nationalised Internet.
The key findings of the 2020 IDN World Report were presented in the session on Universal Acceptance by Giovanni Seppia - External Relations Manager for EURid, the principal partner for the World Report.
The session was moderated by Maria Kolesnikova, Chief Analyst at the Coordination Center for TLD .RU/.РФ, and brought together leading experts on internationalized domain names. Discussion ran for an hour and a half, with presentations from four speakers on local or global Universal Acceptance initiatives, as well as an introductory presentation from Kolesnikova on UA in Russia.
Giovanni Seppia drew attention to elements of the 2020 World Report that focus on Universal Acceptance. In particular, this year EURid has commissioned research on issues of Email Address Internationalization (EAI).
The research investigated the performance of two email providers, and the extent to which they support full EAI. The findings are that even with European scripts such as Latin with diacritics (as well as Greek and Cyrillic scripts), performance falls short of full UA. EURid is actively in communication with these email providers, investigating the problem, and offering support to improve these services for European Internet users.
Kolesnikova commented on the findings, stating that the Russian registry will be producing the findings of a survey of internet users in Russia, where 35% of respondents stated they would like to use Cyrillic email addresses online with no issues. It is clear that there is an unaddressed need for UA, and that there is currently not enough research into end users.
Emily Taylor is the CEO of Oxford Information Labs. She is an Associate Fellow of Chatham House and is the Editor of the Journal of Cyber Policy and co-founder of ICANN accredited registrar, Oxford Information Labs.
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