Published August 31, 2010
As of today, registration of domain names in Hebrew has begun. An initial "sunrise" period will occur before general registration will be available.
A source of great frustration for many Internet users is the bias towards English and the Latin character set, which the Domain Name System was based on. This prevents billions of people from using the characters of their native tongue when typing in domain names and is a substantial barrier to Internet usage, particularly among the elderly.
After decades of this inconvenience, the support of non-Latin characters finally commenced this year, with Saudi Arabia being the first country to benefit.
The first stage of the rollout of domain names in Hebrew will still see the extension of .il remaining in Latin characters initially, but this will also be accessible in Hebrew script within a few months.
After the early registration "sunrise" process, ISOC, the association that oversees Israel's domain name registry, will open registration to the general public with names granted on a first come, first served basis.
The sunrise period is to allow companies time to register their trademarks and avoid the inevitable situation of people seeking to cash in on popular brand's name being available. This helps reduce the subsequent cost and complications of legal action needing to be taken by companies to regain control of domain names associated with their registered marks.
Other countries to soon benefit from the use of non-Latin character based domain names include China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Egypt and Russia.
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