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RE: [nc-idn] Re: Understanding consequences of possible IDN

Danny you raise an important issue here - re the inability of the currently
accredited ICANN registrars of gTLD to service non English speaking
registrants (and I should note that I am taking you assessment on face value
as I have no evidence either way).  If this is the case then that
demonstrates a weakness in the accreditation process.

However, I don't progress from such an assessment to the conclusion that you
do - that therefore gTLDs should not be open to non-English registrants,
that gTLD registrants should not be able to be serviced in a variety of
languages beyond English - including legal contracts - nor should gTLDs not
be (eventually) users of an agreed IDNS system - if this is what you are

gTLDs should be just that - global - and not just the domain for English

Perhaps some of the gTLD registration fees should be used to generate
multilingual legal contracts and non-legal explanations of the registration
process? Such resources would then facilitate gTLD registrars in offering
multilingual service.

Normally market forces would identify any unmet demand and a supplier would
create a service to fulfil that demand. If that is not the case here (and
again I profess my reliance on your assessment), my concern is whether this
is a bit of "chicken and egg" problem (ie. language difficulty inhibits
non-English registrants, hence deters demand, hence dampens any market
signals, hence suppliers don't take the risk to respond) and thus in need of
pre-emptive support and initiative.

I wonder what others think.

Grant Forsyth
Manager Industry & Regulatory Affairs
CLEAR Communications Ltd
Cnr Taharoto & Northcote Roads
Private Bag 92143
ph +64 9 912 5759
fx + 64 9 912 4077
Mb 021 952 007

-----Original Message-----
From: DannyYounger@cs.com [mailto:DannyYounger@cs.com]
Sent: Thursday, 01 November, 2001 2:05 p.m.
To: nc-idn@dnso.org
Subject: [nc-idn] Re: Understanding consequences of possible IDN


You asked if we had additional questions...  I have some additional
 As someone who has worked in a registrar's customer service department 
during an idn testbed roll-out, I can attest to an enormous amount of issues

that relate to "consumer confusion".   My experience has left me convinced 
that gTLD registrars have no business providing IDN services to their client

base, and that such services are best offered only by the ccTLD community 
(which can easily provide registration services in the native language being


With regard to US gTLD registrars that participate in IDN efforts, one notes

that instructions to register a non-english domain name are not provided in 
the language being registered, only in english.   Should a client have 
questions, they are often not able to call the customer service department
these registrars and easily articulate their questions in English, neither 
are they able to understand the legal complexities of a Terms of Service 
contract in a language with which they have no great familiarity.   If the 
registration originates from overseas, there is also a high cost involved in

the necessary telecommunication.   Furthermore, these customer service 
departments do not have representatives trained in the languages they 
ostensibly serve, and website FAQs often seem to create more questions than 
they answer.   

As a matter of policy, if our goal (as per the White Paper) is to encourage 
diversity and enhance user choice and satisfaction, we will not serve the 
world Internet community well if we place our products in the hands of those

registrars that cannot offer an appropriate level of service.  

I believe that registrars should be accredited for IDN products on the basis

of competency in the languages being offered, and that all necessary 
registrar legal documents should necessarily be available in those same 

In short, it makes a lot more sense in terms of policy to have .VN offer 
registrations in the Vietnamese language than it does for any current 
ICANN-accredited registrar to do so.

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