The country code domain for Laos.

A few months ago, ICANN's IANA function redelegated the management of this domain at the request of the Laotian government. The domain had been managed by a company that was trying to make money off it by marketing it worldwide, encouraging people to think of .la as a logical address for sites connected with Los Angeles, Louisiana, or Latin America. The redelegation was supposedly to bring the domain back to a use that helps the local Internet community of Laos insted of profiting foreign companies.

However, according to its current official registration Web site, www.la, a "relaunch" is now in progress with the domain being positioned as the address for Los Angeles; any reference to Laos in the site is deeply buried. So the new boss seems to be a lot like the old boss in terms of the use for which they are attempting to promote the domain; the difference is only in whose pocket the profits (if any) go.

Dreamhost, the hosting provider that hosts my own personal Web sites, is involved with this project; the www.la site is hosted there, and they mentioned in their monthly newsletter for hosting customers that they'd be running the one authorized registrar for this TLD. Their newsletter says it would be useful for "Los Angeles people (like us!), Louisiana people (like um.. somebody?), Latin America people (like El Guapo!), and Leftist Artist people (like the Dixie Chicks!)"

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