From.Asia / For.Asia

DotAsia LogoDotAsia Organisation is a not-for-profit, community membership-based organization incorporated as a “limited by guarantee and not having a share capital” corporation (in Hong Kong). As a not-for-profit organization, DotAsia has a core mandate to promote Internet development and adoption in Asia. Since the launch of the “.Asia” TLD through 2007 and 2008, DotAsia has contributed funds and support to many different Community Projects around Asia.

“From.Asia/For.Asia” is our philosophy. DotAsia was created based on a collaboration among the Internet community From Asia, and our works contribute to community development For Asia. We also believe that the “.Asia” domain is a valuable asset equally for those coming From Asia as well as those looking For Asia.

Asia has developed into a global force in the international commercial, political and cultural network. DotAsia Organisation is dedicated to the needs of the community with a vision of leveraging the successful, collaborative atmosphere and network among the Asia Internet community to create a globally visible Internet domain as a cyberspace that belongs to Asia, and a platform that would contribute in accelerating the overall growth of the region.

Besides the charitable and public interest initiatives that support DotAsia’s vision of regional collaboration, the “.Asia” domain aspires to embrace this dynamism in the Asia Century to become a nucleus, intersection and breeding ground for Internet activity and development in the region.

DotAsia is the Sponsoring Organization and Registry Operator for the .Asia Sponsored Generic Top Level Domain (TLD). DotAsia oversees the policies and governance of the “.Asia” TLD Registry. DotAsia is committed to building a strong foundation of active usage and traffic to “.Asia” domain names. Every “.Asia” domain name helps support Internet development in Asia, and the adoption of “.Asia” domain names is at the heart of our mission. To register a “.Asia” domain name, please visit one of our Accredited Registrars.


The DotAsia Story

The beginnings of the “.Asia” initiative can be attributed back to the discussions started in 2000 around the interest to establish a regional TLD “.AP” (http://www.wwtld.org/meetings/cctld/20001022.ccTLD-APTLD.html). It was quickly identified that there are many regional organisations in the Pan-Asia and Asia-Pacific region, yet unlike in Europe, there is no pan-governmental organisation like the European Union (EU), and such is unlikely to be formed in a meaningful horizon. Furthermore, the code “AP”, although not used at the moment, is a reserved code for “African Regional Industrial Property Organization” based on ISO3166 (http://www.iso.ch/iso/en/prods-services/iso3166ma/02iso-3166-code-lists/iso_3166-1_decoding_table.html#XN), and ICANN views 2-character TLDs to be reserved for ccTLDs.

Che-Hoo & the DotAsia Bidding Team
Che-Hoo & the DotAsia Bidding Team

Discussions and interests of an Asia focused TLD registry continued intermittently during informal discussions within the community. In fact, additional attempts were put forward by different organisations and individuals, including an initiative from Korea, another one from the ASEAN countries, and still another to repurpose the “.AS” TLD as a regional domain. In late 2002 during the ITU Asia conference in Hong Kong, informal discussions began to intensify as the conditions ripen for “.Asia” to become established. These efforts were further propelled by the discussions at ICANN for a new round of Sponsored gTLDs. Throughout 2003, the concept began to take shape as informal discussions continued during different regional and international conferences. Among the active proponents is Che-Hoo Cheng, who is a long time participant in the Internet community in Asia. Che-Hoo work especially hard as a volunteer and served as DotAsia’s Interim CEO to kick-start the initiative.

On December 15, 2003, ICANN announced a Request For Proposal (RFP) for Sponsored Top Level Domain Names (http://www.icann.org/announcements/announcement-15dec03.htm). The “.Asia” initiative immediately accelerated and started to formalize. As identified in the early beginnings back in 2000, no existing organisation was chartered to particularly suit in spearheading the initiative. Further, as discussions gradually materialise from informal conversations into the formation of a movement towards a response to the RFP from ICANN, a structure for a new sponsoring organisation emerged that would be open to many different organisations in the region to participate. This not only ensured a broad participation but also a critical knowledge base for managing a TLD registry with particular experience in managing public resources that balances the interests of public authorities and the community at large.

.Asia ICANN Agreement Signing Ceremony
.Asia ICANN Agreement Signing Ceremony

When the proposal was submitted to ICANN on March 16 2004, 7 ccTLDs: .CN, .ID, .JP, .MO, .NU, .TW and .VN, as well as 2 regional Internet organizations: APNIC and APNG already participated as members. Thereafter, recruitment of members continued, and as of 2005, there are already 20 participating ccTLDs (including .KZ, .TJ & .UZ from Central Asia, .AF, .BT, .IN & .IR from South Asia, .KH, .PH & .SG from South-East Asia, .KR & .MN from East Asia and .NZ from Pacific) along with 4 regional organisations: APNIC, APNG, APTLD and PAN/IDRC. The DotAsia proposal was finally approved by the ICANN board on December 4, 2005 (http://www.icann.org/en/groups/board/documents/minutes-04dec05-en.htm) at the Vancouver ICANN meetings and the DotAsia Sponsored gTLD agreement was signed one year later on December 7, 2006 (http://www.icann.org/en/news/announcements/announcement-07dec06-en.htm) at the Sao Paulo ICANN meetings.

The formation of DotAsia is truly a bottom-up community-based initiative that was not created or mandated by any government or particular existing organisation or constituency. Rather it was a grassroots initiative that gradually gained the support from a broad and diverse range of well-established organisations in the region.

Vision & Mission

The vision of DotAsia is to create a globally visible domain that embodies the successful, cooperative atmosphere established within the Pan-Asia and Asia-Pacific Internet community to accelerate the overall growth of the region.

The mission of DotAsia is:

  • To sponsor, establish and operate a regional Internet namespace with global recognition and regional significance, dedicated to the needs of the Pan-Asia and Asia-Pacific Internet community.
  • To reinvest surpluses in socio-technological advancement initiatives relevant to the Pan-Asia and Asia-Pacific Internet community; and,
  • To operate a viable not-for-profit initiative that is a technically advanced, world-class TLD registry for the Pan-Asia and Asia-Pacific community.

Community Projects & Contribution

DotAsia Organisation is dedicated to its mandate of promoting Internet development and adoption in Asia. Following the DotAsia vision of a collaborative Asia, we believe in community engagement and contribution and in partnerships with not-for-profit organizations to implement community projects. Besides Community Projects that DotAsia proactively support and develop, a portion of the proceeds from registrations (or renewals) of “.Asia” domains is set aside directly for community projects in partnership with Sponsor Members of DotAsia: [Sponsor Community Projects (SCP)].

DotAsia Community Projects Fall under the following 4 umbrellas:

DotAsia Projects Community projects supported directly by DotAsia.
NetMission Ambassador Projects NetMission.Asia is a flagship youth and Internet governance initiative launched by DotAsia in 2009. Building on the alumni since then, different ongoing projects have been launched under the NetMission.Asia umbrella, including for example, the YIGF Camp, NetY and iCity.
Go.Asia Projects Go.Asia is another flagship initiative launched and led by DotAsia since 2012. Consolidating the efforts from Relief.Asia which was launched in 2008, Go.Asia is a platform promoting volunteerism (beyond just directly Internet related issues) with a philosophy that “Every Act Counts”.
Community Sponsored Projects Sponsor Community Projects are supported through the direct contribution funds in partnership with Sponsor Members.

 

In general, DotAsia is committed towards Community Projects meeting one or more of the following criteria:

  • Digital inclusion related projects to bridge the digital divide and help the digitally disadvantaged, especially in poverty relief and advancement of education
  • Educational initiatives, advancing of a domain of knowledge, scholarships and other open knowledge programs (such as open license educational materials), especially projects leveraging the Internet
  • Research and development efforts that are charitable in nature and beneficial to the community, including projects such as socio-technical research, open source development, disaster relief and rebuild efforts especially on information infrastructure support, etc.

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Connecting Asia with One Domain