Saturday, September 24, 2011

CIRA considers IDNs for .ca domains

IDN characters may soon be coming to .ca domains.

CIRA is considering adding french accented letters to .ca domain registrations.  This would allow for the true spelling of many french words in domains.  Considering about a fourth of Canadians are french speakers, I think this would make sense.  I also think if you own a .ca domain with one or more french words that should be accented, you should have first crack at the IDN version.  Stay tuned to see how this develops!

Here is the email I received from CIRA about this possible change.

As part of our effort to continually enhance the .CA domain, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) is considering the implementation of French character Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) at the second level (to the left of the dot).

An Internationalized Domain Name is simply a domain name that contains characters other than a-z, 0-9 or hyphens.

CIRA is planning the addition of the following accented characters to .CA domain names:

é, ë, ê, è

à, â


ù, û, ü


î, ï

This means you could soon see domain names like pré, grâ, etc. Before we can implement IDNs, CIRA is preparing a framework that will help us create a policy for launching accented domain names. As a Registrant, we are seeking your input on our proposed framework.

On September 20, 2011, CIRA opened a public consultation concerning our planned launch of IDNs. The feedback received from .CA holders like you, as well as our Members, Registrars and other stakeholders, will help us shape the final IDN launch policy. Learn more about the proposed policy and share your views at

About CIRA

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority is the Member-driven organization that manages Canada’s .CA domain name registry, develops and implements policies that support Canada’s Internet community, and represents the .CA registry internationally.

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