The regional internet domain .asia has opened for registration; businesses and governments will get first crack at trademarked and other protected names. The public will come rushing in to scoop up what’s left of the suffix in February 2008. The second regional domain—.eu began selling in April 2006—.asia will go live next March, and will likely be followed by Latin American and African counterrparts, the BBC reports.
In an unorthodox step, the DotAsia Registry will conduct auctions for contested names. One expert said regional suffixes were a good bet for many because national domains often come with strict limitations. Meanwhile, though .asia will debut using the Latin alphabet, the internet naming overseer is experimenting with putting languages as diverse as Arabic, Japanese, and Hindi on the web.