An effort has kicked off in the south-east Asian nation of Laos to “reclaim and relaunch” the .la top-level domain, which is currently being marketed to businesses in Los Angeles.
On March 23, Mr. Nguyen Thanh Hung – Deputy Minister of Information and Communications of Vietnam and Mr. Padaphet Sayakhot – Deputy of Laos National Posts and Telecommunications Management Agency signed a memorandum for Vietnam to support Laos to retrieve and manage the Laotian country code Top Level Domain (“ccTLD”) “.LA”.
The announcement talks about a transition plan under which VNNIC, the .vn registry, will temporarily take over the management of .la domain names on behalf of LANIC, the nominal .la registry.
Under the current plan Vietnam will support LANIC in the management and operation of the ccTLD “.LA” by hosting the registry platform in Hanoi while concurrently training LANIC staff, with the eventual goal of turning over complete management of “.LA” to LANIC by 2012.
Today, .la domains are sold from www.la as “the internet address for Los Angeles” and “the first city top-level domain”, equivalent to possible future TLDs such as .paris and .rome.
That site, as well as the the name servers for .la, are currently operated by CentralNIC, the London-based registry services provider, under an agreement with a company called LA Registry Pte Ltd.
But according to IANA records, LANIC has been the designated .la sponsoring organization, as well as its technical and administrative contact, since 2002.
That being the case, there will presumably be no requirement for a lengthy IANA redelegation request if any transition is to take place.
Dot VN’s statement does not mention CentralNIC or existing registrants at all. I’ve been unable to obtain clarification from either company so far, but will provide a follow-up when I do.
LANIC’s web site, incidentally, is currently a parked page.