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Germany

New Characters for Internet Domain Names

German Internet users whose names contain an umlaut, the two dots over an a, o or u, can now register Internet domain names containing the character. As of March 1 domain names such as Jäger, Töpfer or Müller are permissible and owners no longer have to resort to ae, oe or ue letter combinations. Until now, the permissible letters for a domain name were limited to the ASCII set, the American Standard Code for Information Interchange. The new standard is called IDN, Internationalized Domain Name, and contains 92 additional characters, including accents and special letters from various languages. Interest in Germany is high but before registering prospective new domain owners should remember that keyboards outside the German-speaking world are not equipped with umlaut keys and foreign users will experience problems accessing the new sites.