The Internet's 'biggest change' coming soon

Top-level domain names will soon get a more global look.

The Internet is about to get a new, global look.

No longer will top-level domain names (like .COM, .NET, or .ORG) only be in Latin script. That's because the organization responsible for overseeing top-level domain name space, The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, announced it's adding four new web address suffixes in three new scripts -- Arabic, Cyrillic, and Chinese.

The new top-level domains are:

  • شبكة, Arabic for "web/network"
  • онлайн, Cyrillic for "online"
  • сайт, Cyrillic for "site"
  • 游戏, Chinese for "game(s)"

Akram Atallah, president of ICANN's generic domains division, called the move "the biggest change to the Internet since its inception."

"In the weeks and months ahead, we will see new domain names coming online from all corners of the world, bringing people, communities and businesses together in ways we never imagined," Atallah said. "It's this type of innovation that will continue to drive our global society."

ICANN predicts that their program to diversify top-level domain names could yield as many as 1,400 new names. There are currently only 22.

Photo: Flickr/marsmet547

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com