This week, on a cruise ship navigating Russia’s Neva river, around 250 domain registrars and resellers are gathered for the RU-CENTER annual domain conference.
RU-CENTER is the largest Russian registrar in a market that is dominated by three companies. RU-CENTER and competitor Reg.Ru both manage around 28% of domains registered in the country’s national suffix .RU, whilst a third registrar R-01 (also part of the RU-CENTER group of companies) has 18%.
The domain name рф (romanized as rf ) is the Cyrillic country code top-level domain for the Russian Federation, in the Domain Name System of the Internet. In the Domain Name System it has the ASCII DNS name xn--p1ai. The domain accepts only Cyrillic subdomain applications, and is the first Cyrillic implementation of the Internationalizing Domain Names in Applications (IDNA) system.
RU-CENTER is also a figurehead for Russia’s drive to make Internet use more palatable for those who are not natural ASCII writers. Because the Latin alphabet has been the only available option to browse the Internet up until now, and because Russian Internet users learn Latin characters anyway, having to use a foreign script has not dampened their drive to get online and reap the Web’s many benefits. More Written by By Stéphane Van Gelder