Register a .Asia while the landrush is on

By | February 23, 2008

The domain TLD .Asia Landrush is currently open for registration by the public and corporations. The company responsible for sponsoring the extension is the DotAsia Organization, while the registrations are operated by Afilias, the same registry operator for the popular .Info extension. Since the Landrush period for .Asia is only for a limited time (02/20/2008 – 03/12/2008), now is as good as any time to acquire a .Asia domain if you want one.

Firstly, a couple of explanations. Some may wonder what is a Landrush or a Sunrise? These are domain industry specific terms. “Landrush” denotes the “first come, first served” basis, and is the period when a TLD is first open to the public, while “Sunrise” is a pre-order period to ensure corporations got adequate chance to register their trademark domains before registration is open to the public. It is now an acceptable way to help reserve domain names for corporations.

The Landrush period now on, will end on March 12, and will be followed by the normal Go Live period from March 26 onwards. Before this current Landrush, there were several Sunrise periods that have now passed, ever since .Asia was approved back in October 2006. All governments and companies have been given adequate time by now to secure all their trademarks.

Why would you want a .Asia domain?

The good news

Now that the Landrush phase is on, anyone in the world can register a .Asia domain as long as they have one contact in the Asian region. Unlike other ccTLDs like .US and .EU, the .Asia extension is actually a gTLD, with less restrictions than normal country level TLDs.

What seems new in this case, is that .Asia allows for two or more applicants registering the same name to compete against each other in an auction. This is probably a much fairer way of awarding domains, and this policy could apply for other new extensions in future. By the way, this “two or more applicants” rule will only apply during the Landrush phase. Once it is over on March 12, any domains not contested will belong to the sole registrant. Fair enough.

The not so good news

Asia is so vast and diverse, that many Asians identify themselves more with their countries than with the general term “Asia.” There are about 70 countries classified as “Asian,” stretching from Saudi Arabia to Australia, and making up about 60% of the world’s population. Asia might be too broad a term.

Unlike .EU which is a more unified term, I don’t expect demand for .Asia to be hot among Asians themselves, probably not in a while. A more popular extension currently is .IN, which is the country level TLD for India.

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