By Don Hollander
Secretary General
Universal Acceptance Steering Group

Millions of users may be denied access to your services – and that’s not fair to you or to them.

Since 2010 the Domain Name System (DNS) has expanded dramatically, not only fueling competition, choice and innovation, but truly enabling a multi-lingual Internet. There are now more than a 1,500 top-level domains (TLDs), many of which are longer than the traditional two- and three-character names (e.g. .com, .hk, and .org) or are in non-ASCII based scripts – such as Arabic, Cyrillic, Thai and Chinese.  In Hong Kong, HKIRC have offered domain names in .香港 since 2010.

The issue at hand

Many organizations and businesses have not updated their systems to accommodate the new domains or what we call become Universal Acceptance (UA)-ready. As a result, many applications and Internet-connected devices and systems are unable to accept, validate, store, process or display all domain names. This causes problems for organizations and headaches for users because if the applications do not recognize or appropriately process the new domain names or email addresses that use these extensions, it will result in lost customers and a poor user experience.

Resources available to assist you

To address these issues and provide support, stakeholders and industry leaders such as Apple, GoDaddy, Google, ICANN, Microsoft, DotAsia and Verisign, created the Universal Acceptance Steering Group ( The UASG exists to help organizations ensure their systems are UA-ready and able to accept all domain names and email addresses in any valid script.

Visit our website and view these helpful guides (, and to get involved with the UASG ( so we can work together to fully incorporate these new domains for the benefit of the next generation of Internet users.

For the full article:

About the author: Don Hollander is the secretary general for Universal Acceptance Steering Group and former CIO for large domestic and international corporations.


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