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Celebrating Universal Acceptance Day 2024

28 March 2024

Universal Acceptance (UA), the principle of ensuring all domain names and email addresses function seamlessly across digital platforms regardless of script or format, is becoming increasingly important in our diverse digital landscape. 28 March 2024 is a special day for Universal Acceptance globally.

We had the pleasure of speaking to EURid's Industry Relations Manager, Regina Filipová Fuchsová. Our talk explores the significance of UA, how it is celebrated online, and EURid's experiences with Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs), highlighting efforts towards linguistic diversity and awareness in cyberspace.


Regina, in the context of the internet, what is remarkable on today´s date, 28 March 2024?

We are celebrating the second annual Universal Acceptance Day. This idea was brought into life last year by ICANN. There are about 50 events happening during today or in the following weeks in different countries around the whole world. They are focused both on awareness, technical training and adoption as well as development of relevant academia curricula. The main global event takes place just today in Belgrade, Serbia. The local ccTLD manager RNIDS are themselves running both the .rs TLD as well as an IDN top level domain, .СРБ.

How has EURid´s experience been with the IDNs and the equivalents of .eu in other European scripts? What is your strategy in promoting IDN usage?

The gradual technical enablements at EURid included the launch of IDNs under .eu back in 2009, followed by the introduction of .eu in Cyrillic (.ею) in 2016 and .eu in Greek (.ευ) in 2019. The respective milestones attracted a lot of media attention in the affected countries. There were also voices afraid of possible large-scale brand protection issues. After almost 15 years we can say that the negative scenarios definitely did not come true. However, the uptake of IDNs is rather slow due to various reasons, ea. connected with universal acceptance and the still existing technical limitations to the usage of IDNs across various services including email solutions and various applications.

Thus, our strategy includes spreading awareness and sharing relevant information both with registrars and end users. We are running the website with insights into the global market for IDNs with a particular focus on ccTLDs. We are building it as a resource for understanding the current trends in IDN registrations, adoption, and technical implementation. This year we are planning to enrich the content with a few case studies about IDNs implementation with ccTLDs as well as an overview of the history of IDNs.

Building UA is a joint effort of many different actors. We are well aware that steps need to be taken also by big vendors in developing their browsers or emailing solutions to be UA ready. We as the ccTLD manager can involve our accredited registrars and motivate them not only to offer IDNs to their customers but also to get their systems ready from the technical point of view.

As Theresa Swinehart, SVP, Global Domains and Strategy at ICANN highlighted in the recently published video on the Importance of Universal Acceptance, achieving UA has economic and social benefits by allowing more internet users to connect with businesses, local communities and to embrace cultural traditions.

In this context, join us also in two months in celebrating the forthcoming 8th anniversary of .eu in Cyrillic and the Bulgarian language day.