The Russian Registry is today asking it’s customer base to vote on the possibility of a new .РФ (.RF) IDN domain name. As they write, ICANN is looking at the possibility of establishing top-level domains using international characters. The final decision on this matter will be taken at the 32nd International Public ICANN Meeting held in Paris this June 22-26 2008.
As the Russian Registry continues, if ICANN approve the introduction of this domain, Russia could become one of the first countries to have a Cyrillic national domain. However they need to show popularity for this extension so ask their customers to vote at their website. Voting will continue until June 3rd, after which they will announce the results.
There was no mention of the current dispute over the .SU (Soviet Union) extension, which ICANN wishes to see closed. At one point it was suggested that .РФ (.RF) IDN could be a replacement for .SU but it now appears that the Russian Registry is angling for all three domains.
Interestingly, the Russian Registry released an article on ICANN yesterday discussing the relationship between the organisation and the US administration. It suggests that some corporate users are, “concerned about the slow movement on some issues, including the introduction of IDN. This is causing an increased interest around the world in alternative, independent addressing systems, which may disturb the integrity of the Internet”. One solution, the article concludes, “could be to transfer the functions of ICANN to the UN”.