The Network Solutions Registrar, owned by US-based internet product, training and support consultancy VeriSign, will today effectively treble the number of .com, .net and .org suffixes available for worldwide use. The increase results from VeriSign's acceptance of sixty additional languages for address registration purposes.

Until now, only four languages – English, Chinese, Japanese and Korean – were acceptable. But from today, VeriSign customers will be able to buy domain names in sixty other languages including French, German, Spanish and Swedish, enabling the use of special characters such as ç, ø, ü and ñ.

Says Phil Callan, managing director of VeriSign's European subsidiary Network Solutions: "One of the criticisms of the internet over many years is that it is too English. This is the internationalisation of the internet and provides an opportunity for thousands of European businesses to get local domain names in local languages.”

Despite the fact that English is the first language of only 5% of the world's population, an estimated 75% of all web pages are in that tongue. This flies in the face of research indicating that the majority of web users prefer sites to be in their own language and would be more likely to buy online if they could do so in their native vernacular.

News source: Financial Times