Asia announced its entry into the Internet’s prized real estate on Tuesday, with .Asia, its very own domain extension.
The .Asia domain, is the first Asia-based generic, top level domain (TLD) approved by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The Hong Kong-based DotAsia Organisation has won the right to set-up the domain.
The regional domain comes after the launch of the European-based .eu name last year and aims to join .com and .net as a widely used website suffix.
Jasjit Sawhney, CEO of Indian Internet service provider Net 4 and DotAsia Vice President for Community Relations Ching Chiao unveiled the extension.
Individuals and companies will now be able to target the largest Internet community and fastest growing economies in the world as well as people looking for relevant information about Asia, from Asia, and for Asia. For companies, brands, and marketers, the new TLD would add a stronger sense of affiliation to a dynamic and fast growing region.
Jasjit Sawhney said: “The domain extension serves as a brand new platform to bind the Asian community. We are glad that Asia has got its much-needed regional Cyber space. It could well be the beginning of deeper cooperation beyond the name space.
Sawhney said Asia is running its Sunrise stage now, which will occur in three main phases — Sunrise 1 (SR1) designed for governmental reserved names, Sunrise2 (SR2) provides priority for registered trademarks and service mark holders, and Sunrise 3 (SR3) allows companies to protect and use their name with the domain extension. Net4 offers IP communication services with a PAN Indian presence and has an array of IP solutions and services like fixed WiMAX & Leased line Internet access, VoIP services & solutions, call shops and data center services.
Ching Chiao said: “With a rapidly growing Asian economy, we believe that the introduction of .Asia will help fuel the
continued growth of the Internet in the region and drive more opportunity for both business and individuals.”
“Registrars are key to DotAsia’s success. Working with Net 4 will help ensure brand-name companies in India to be the early mover to secure their .Asia names,” he added.
According to some estimates, Asia already has around 400 million Internet users, but accounting for only 10 per cent of the region’s total population.
Chiao also said that DotAsia has been working closely with the government in the past few months to protect geo-political names such as india.asia and newdelhi.asia.