Internationalized domain names on their way to .tel.
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers has approved Telnic’s request to offer internationalized domain names on .tel. .Tel registry Telnic made the request to offer IDNs on December 2, and ICANN Chief gTLD Registry Liaison Craig Schwartz notified Telnic of approval today via letter.
By offering IDN domain names, users will be able to register .tel domain names in their native language and character set, as opposed to only roman characters as are currently available. Telnic has not released a timeline or plans for which character sets may be initially added. This is different from the recent initiative for IDN top level domain names, which will allow non-roman characters in the top level domain. ICANN’s approval pertains to the second level domain, and users will still have to type .tel.
There are currently about 240,000 active .tel registrations according to HosterStats.com. [Update: Telnic says there were 275,000 registrations as of the end of 2009.] Offering IDNs could give the top level domain name a much needed boost.