Laos Regains Control of .LA Domain Name

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Laos’ internet top-level domain name dot la (.LA) has been restored to Laos’ full management and operation after years of being leased to a foreign company, a minister has said.

Minister of Posts and Telecommunications Dr. Thansamay Kommasith told local media recently the domain name was brought back a few months ago and is currently located at the Lao National Internet Centre.

He spoke to the media during a meeting between the government cabinet, Vientiane Mayor and provincial governors.

Laos granted the leasing to the foreign company for more than 10 years to provide commercial services as Lao technical staff were previously not fully prepared and capable of doing so professionally.

He said that successfully bringing back the.LA domain name was one of the outstanding achievements of his ministry after a few years of negotiation with the company.

Over the years, the ministry has been training its staff, drawing up regulations and making other preparations in readiness for the full management and operation of the.LA domain once it was returned, as well as the overall development of the information and communication technology (ICT) sector.

To commercialise the.LA domain name, the ministry has permitted local internet providers to provide services for “.LA.”

In addition, the ministry has permitted a foreign dealer to provide services for foreign customers outside Laos.

Globally, there are about 70,000 users of the “.LA” domain name including hundreds of users in Laos, according to officials at the Lao National Internet Centre under the ministry.

Officials in charge are drawing up a plan to promote the use of .LA, especially among local users.

A country code top-level domain is an Internet top-level domain generally used or reserved for a country, sovereign state, or dependent territory identified with a country code.

The.LA is the Lao People’s Democratic Republic or Laos country domain name. Its popularity has grown since it was officially launched in 1996.

The .LA suffix is very popular in the United States as an abbreviation for the city of Los Angeles or the state Louisiana. There are many websites and blogs that successfully use .LA domains as a city top-level domain.

Dr. Thansamay said Laos is properly prepared to manage the domain and develop its ICT sector as a whole including the preparation of personnel, regulations and infrastructure.

Last month, the National Assembly passed the Information and Communication Technology Law and a prime ministerial decree on an information and communication centre has also been promulgated, which Dr Thansamay said would be important tools to develop the ICT sector.

The ministry has completed installing equipment to centralise communications management through the Lao National Internet Centre.

Nationwide, most Lao people access the ICT network through telecommunication signals covering 90 percent of villages in the country.

The 3G and 4G signals cover 60-70 percent of all villages nationwide.

Source: Vientiane Times

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