Letters with diacritical signs now allowed in '.ee' domain names

Estonia
As of June 13 2011, anyone interested in registering '.ee' domain names containing letters with diacritical signs, such as 'õ', 'ä', 'ö', 'ü', 'š' and 'ž', can do so on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no extra fee for registering such domain names, only the usual domain registration fee set by the accredited registrar.

Riho Kurg, head of the country’s largest domain name registrar, Zone.ee, said that this addition should contribute toward a richer, less anglocentric internet:

There are over 200 million domains in the world, but a recent UNESCO report said that only 2.8 million of them contain letters not in the English alphabet. Now Estonia is making its contribution for the good of the development of a multicultural and multilingual internet.

Nearly 62,000 domains have been registered in Estonia since the new domain regulations entered into force in July 2010 (for further details please see "New ‘.ee’ domain name registration rules give mark owners a break"), which is 46 '.ee' domains per 1,000 residents.

“In one year, we have passed Latvia and Lithuania in terms of the number of domains per capita,” Estonian Internet Foundation chief executive officer Marek-Andres Kauts assessed.

In Latvia, there are 40 domains per 1,000 residents, while in Lithuania there are 43. Finland is just ahead of Estonia with 50 domains per 1,000 residents, while this figure in Sweden is 118.

Aleksandra Pavlovic, PETOŠEVIC, Skopje

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