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Bangladesh, IDN, Internationalized Domain Names, .

bd Doman
November 28, 2009

If it’s in the Bangladesh it’s gotta be .bd!

Saturday, November 28, 2009 by Raqueeb Hassan

It must have been a week while I was attending one of the briefing sessions after the ministerial
team visited “The Internet Governance Forum (IGF)” as held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

What was it for Bangladesh being in IGF, the Internet governance lobbying ground?

The team requested ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom on the inclusion of Bangla script compatible domain
names as Egypt and Russia has sent similar proposals for their own IDNs.

By the way, why do we need IDN?

This Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) has been talked at length in this IGF. For last couple of
years, these IDNs have become a hot topic in the field of Internet governance. As the number of
non-English speakers [non Latin-based script] on the Internet grows exponentially, the limitations of
the Domain Name System [DNS] have become evident to many.

It has also been said that over half the Internet users around the world don’t use a Latin-based
script as their native language. It might sound great when ICANN will allow this floodgate to expand
the global reach of the Internet by introducing the top-level domains in non-Latin character sets. It
will help over half the world’s population who uses alphabets other than Latin, to let them read
and write domain names and email addresses in their native languages. But, one thing I know for
sure, search is getting hard in coming days.

It is true that the genuine community voice of the local populations in their own new idnGTLDs can
be given a chance to be heard. But, then – in case of Bangladesh, adopting Bengali domain might
lead us to the island syndrome where we may not be found by the international communities. It is
fantastic solution for localized content, and are we there yet? Some has concerns as we need to
avoid restricting new idnGTLDs to governments, many of which are often repressive or takes
months to process, and we must also avoid handing the market to the Internet incumbents.

What is there for us and why isn’t everyone’s interested for IDN?

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Bangladesh, IDN, Internationalized Domain Names, .bd Doman
November 28, 2009

I’m not disapproving it, but are we done yet, with the keyboards war? Well, there is a keyword
called “priority” before we proceed with this IDN thing. Yes, leapfrogging is great idea but
sometimes shortcuts lead to nowhere.

And, under ICANN’s current plan, the only IDN domains are allowed are in country-code domains
controlled by governments, like Bangladesh’s .bd, China’s .cn, and India’s .in. Here comes the
moment of truth, who is administering the .bd domain?

The UAE telecom regulator [TRA] is promoting its fierce campaign for the local domain .ae [I would
be surprised if you can’t find couple of promotional ads in middle eastern telecom magazines and
sites] by saying …

If it’s in the UAE it’s gotta be .ae!

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has also re-delegated the UAE ENUM space (971)
to TRA, which in turn delegated it to aeDA [TRA’s initiative] to manage the country top level
domain [.ae ccTLD] from both administrative and technical perspectives in compliance with
international best practices. According to TRA, they are aiming to attract around 200,000
registrants by 2010!

The current .bd domain administrator has acute shortage of manpower and the regulatory body has
the domain administration authority in the amended act. As always, blame it on the predecessors;
but this is an extra job when you don’t have proper organogram for it.

If we talk about priorities, what should be done next?

Licensing the .bd domain administration to an able body or to prepare the proposal for Bangla IDN?

Please have a look at the preparation phase of IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process, welcome to the real
world.

Politically, “both” would sound perfect even if I subscribe to a different school of thought! Please
be advised that it is all about empowerment of local communities doing local businesses. It is
mostly about business friendly policies not only Bangla script that matters.

And, please, please fix the keyboard layout!

Happy Eid-Ul-Azha!

Posted in Communications, Regulatory Policy | Tagged bangladesh, ICANN, IDN, IGF, Internet
Governance Forum

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