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ICANN Approves .asia Top-Level Domain

Somehow, the days where the Internet consisted only of .gov, .edu, .net, .org, and the occasional .com are seeming very quaint. In addition to the myriad of top-level domains which have since been created for nations, geographic regions, interest niches and specific technologies, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has approved the creation of a new .asia top-level domain.

The new domain will supplement existing country codes used by nations like China (.cn), Japan (.jp), annd Singapore (.sp), and will likely operate in a manner similar to the overarching .eu domain used to designate some Internet services in the European Union. ICANN will assign administration of the new top level domain to the DotAsia Organization, which petitioned for its creation and is made up of domain registrars handling domains in Asia-Pacific nations, including Australia. ICANN and DotAsia will work out the specifics of the registrar agreement in the coming months; registrations aren’t expected to open up until mid-2007 or so, and trademark holders will get first crack at the new namespace. DotAsia has said it intends to restrict registrations to businesses, organizations, and individuals in the Asia Pacific region.