It’s now possible to register .rs domain names in an additional 13 languages in addition to Serbian and English characters. The update on 10 December saw characters in the Albanian, Bosnian, Croatian, Czech, German, Hungarian, Montenegrin, Romanian, Romany, Slovak, Slovene and Vlach languages become available to .rs registrants.

The Serbian National Internet Domain Registry (RNIDS) says that there is a saying in Serbian that “you are worth the number of languages you speak”. So to Serbians their country code top level domain (ccTLD) became a lot more valuable on 10 December. The update sees .rs joining the great global family of internationalised domain names (IDNs), that is a domain name with any character that’s not an English alphabet character. There are currently around 7.5 million registered IDNs globally.

There is a global commitment to a multilingual Internet. The concept of IDNs first emerged online in 1996, and in 2000 registration of IDNs was enabled within the .COM and .NET domains. Only a year later, ccTLDs began registrations of IDNs, among the first of which was the Japanese .JP domain. In 2003, ICANN, the organisation that manages the global structure of the Internet, approved the IDN standard, and the same year, at the 32nd session of the General Conference of UNESCO in Paris, a recommendation was passed which among other things advocated the promotion and equal use of different languages and scripts on the Internet. In 2003 the first European ccTLDs – the Polish and the Swedish – began registering IDNs. In 2004 they were followed by the Austrian, Swiss, German, Danish, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Latvian and Norwegian ccTLDs. Thus the Internet entered a new multilingual era.

Every nation aspires to use its own script on the Internet, not just within content but also within its domain names. RNIDS has kept up with global trends, in 2012 facilitating registrations of Cyrillic domains within the .СРБ domain. Now the .RS domain will be opened up to the broader range of Latin characters used in the Republic of Serbia.

During the initial registration period, only registrants of existing .RS domains will be allowed to register IDNs. They will be able to register new IDN .RS domains which have a corresponding, previously unavailable IDN character in place of an ASCII character (for example “č” or “ć” instead of “c”, “š” instead of “s” etc.). Additionally, all those registering a new .RS domain during this period will have the right to register a corresponding .RS IDN. Whether the .RS domain was registered before or after 10/12, the .RS IDN must be registered with the accredited registrar with whom the corresponding .RS domain is already registered.

RNIDS’ registration fees for .RS IDNs will be the same as the fees for registration of the corresponding .RS domain in all domain spaces (.RS, .CO.RS, .ORG.RS, .EDU.RS, .IN.RS).