We wanted to let you know that AFNIC, the operator for .fr, .yt, .pm, .wf, .tf, and .re, has announced that beginning May 3, 2012, anyone will be able to register domain names under the .fr, .yt, .pm, .wf, .tf, and .re TLDs—with new characters. Since 1985, French Internet users have had to compose domain names in the “Latin without diacritics” format based solely on letters (A-Z), numbers (0-9), and the hyphen (-). In languages with diacritics, IDNs are the best means of communication for holders of domain names to reflect the pronunciation of their identity or their brand. This will also be an opportunity for holders to optimize their naming strategies. The phases for this launch are:
- Grandfathering Phase (May 3 – July 2, 2012) :: During this phase anyone holding a registered .fr, .yt, .pm, .wf, .tf, or .re domain will be able to register the IDN equivalent. For example the holder of “toto.fr” can register “tôtô.fr“, “tötö.fr“, etc.
- General Availability (opens July 3, 2012) :: Domains will be awarded on a “first-come, first-serve” basis and if local presence requirements are met, you’ll be able to register an IDN domain name.
If you have any questions about IDN domains or would like to register an IDN domain name, please contact your Safenames Account Manager or contact Safenames Customer Support in the UK at +44 1908 200022 (email@example.com), or in the US at +1.703.574.5313 (firstname.lastname@example.org).