#3 - JRL 2009-217 - JRL Home
Rossia.rf becomes first Cyrillic domain

MOSCOW, November 25 (RIA Novosti)-Russia has launched a national domain name . - Russian Federation - using the Cyrillic alphabet instead of Latin letters on Wednesday, a spokeswoman for the national domain coordination center said.

Rossia.rf has become the first Cyrillic domain name in the Internet, Maria Mokina said. The domain name will be administered by the coordination center during a reservation period, Mokina said.

"Later, we will hand it over to relevant state government bodies," she said.

Governmental bodies and trademark owners were given priority in registering second-level Cyrillic domain names, she said.

Registration of domain names for state requirements is free, Mokina said. Registration prices for trademark owners depend on the company registering and fluctuate from 1,150 rubles ($40) to 10,000 rubles (about $350).

Other companies and individuals will be eligible to register a Cyrillic domain name starting from April 20, 2010, the spokeswoman said. Excessive registration prices, expected to reach 10 million rubles ($347,500) per domain, were set for the first registration period in order to restrain cornering. By July, the prices are expected to become equal with those set for the registration in the .ru zone.

Cyrillic domain names will be available for use at the beginning of 2010, the spokeswoman said.

In November 2008, .rf was approved by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers following a request by President Dmitry Medvedev. The domain is aimed at raising the importance of Russian as a global language.

In the last few years, the number of Russian Internet users has grown significantly. In 2004, according to a survey by Global Reach, there were just 22 million Russians using the Internet, while in 2008, the Russian Network Information Center said the number had grown to 34 million people.

There are more than 45 million Internet users in Russia now, according to data available from the Internet World Stats site.

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