Universal Acceptance - evolving email to fit the expansion of the Internet's Domain Name System
In a video message to the CSA Summit attendees, Ram Mohan, Chair of the Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG) at ICANN, explained what universal acceptance is and why it is important: “Universal Acceptance (UA) is the state where all valid domain names and email addresses are accepted, validated, stored, processed and displayed correctly and consistently by all Internet-enabled applications, devices and systems.”
The UASG and its activities were introduced by Lars Steffen of eco ̶ Association of the Internet Industry. UA is key to bringing more of the world’s major languages online and letting the next billion users access the Internet on their own terms. However, right now 56% of websites are in English and only 3% in Chinese languages, despite 1.4 billion Chinese language speakers. UASG is working towards changing the status quo and setting the groundwork for other alphabets and longer domain names to be accepted by systems all over the world.
The Vice President Europe of ICANN, Jean-Jacques Sahel, pointed out that two more alphabets are coming online within the European Union; the Greek alphabet and the Cyrillic alphabet. Many major companies are moving their websites and domains to the new TLDS, e.g. .bmw, .barclaycard, .bnpparibas, .sky. There was much laughter when Lars Steffen revealed the name of the only website that is currently UA-ready: myspace.com. Microsoft’s Terry Zink highlighted that Microsoft is getting ready for Universal Acceptance. UA is built into Office 2016 and Outlook online.