Domain wars: MYNIC gears up .my for competition from .ml
By Digital News Asia February 23, 2015
- Argues that .my is truly Malaysian, only Country-Code TLD representing country
- Fees not budged for years; free for students and their startups under new programme
WITH the Feb 16 launch of the .ml domain in the country, Malaysian domain registrar MYNIC Bhd has come out to say that the .my domain name is the one and only Country-Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) representing Malaysia.
In the rise of new domain names, it is important for individuals and businesses to decide on the right online identity for them, and choosing a Malaysian identity now bears greater significance than ever before, MYNIC said in a statement.
.my has long been associated with the image of a Malaysian identity, and MYNIC is the only authorised and sole administrator for the domain, which is recognised by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), it added.
On Feb 16, Freenom, a free domain name provider controlled by the world’s largest privately-owned domain name system company OpenTLD BV, made the .ml domain available to Malaysian individuals and organisations.
Freenom, previously known as Freedom Registry, currently has 30 million domain names under its belt, comprising top level domains like .tk, .ml, .ga and .cf. Dot ML is a privately funded joint venture between Freenom and Agetic, a governmental organisation responsible for infrastructure and communications in Mali.
MYNIC, on the other hand, is an agency under the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia, and is regulated by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).
“Since our inception 28 years ago, .my has served more than half a million citizens and businesses, providing them the true Malaysian identity online,” said its chief executive officer Hasnul Fadhly Hasan.
Freenom said that its domain registration is free except for certain ‘premium and exclusive’ domain names. At its launch, it noted that MYNIC charges a maximum of RM120 (US$33.50) to register a .my domain, not including renewal fees.
In terms of price positioning, MYNIC’s fees have remained “the same all these years,” said Hasnul, going as low as RM32 a year, but he added that it usually varies from each reseller to encourage more value-added services such as hosting and e-commerce stores. A promotion last year even saw an RM9.90 price-tag.
[RM1 = US$0.28]
.my is also currently being offered as a free domain name for tertiary students in Malaysia under the ‘I’m CEO’ programme, in which MYNIC is collaborating with universities and colleges in the country.
The programme is designed for students to explore the challenging world of online business, and aims to expose them to the necessary knowledge and tools.
Students get a free domain name for their online business brand (worth RM240); business tips and tricks for their startup including funding, sourcing and marketing; and a platform to market their products or services.
If their startup has a business registration, they also get a payment gateway for online transactions via local banks, Visa and MasterCard worth RM1,300, MYNIC said.
“While some domain name providers focus on the business angle only, I can assure you that .my is exclusively driven to serve the public interest and Malaysia’s Internet community as a whole,” Hasnul declared.
In terms of brand and trademark protection, MYNIC also offers .my Dispute Resolution Policy (myDRP) which provides simple, fast and affordable resolution of .my domain name disputes.
On the matter of the ease of registration, he highlighted that the documentation required during domain registration is a crucial step to validate and ensure that the concerned entity is owned by a Malaysian or is a legally operating business.
The validation is designed to reduce fraud and abuse, thus protecting online consumers, and is one of the main reasons why .my is a trusted brand, he argued.
Moving forward, MYNIC said it is working closely with other registry bodies such as the Companies Commission Malaysia and the National Registration Department to simplify the registration process.
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