On the Internet, dot­-com reigns supreme. But expansion of the information superhighway has necessitated the construction of other domain suffixes, or top-level domains, such as dot-ca, dot-biz, dot-info and, more recently, dot-mobi (for mobile devices).

Now comes dot-asia, a regional domain for Asia and the Pacific that opened to the general public in March.

“Anybody who has a business and who wants to get in on the Asian market . . . is jumping on now,” says Cybele Negris, co-founder and chief operating officer of local domain registry Inc.

In truth, for most companies, the value in bagging a dot-asia domain isn’t in what it gets you, but what it prevents: namely, someone else squatting on your turf.

Take Telus. Spokes­person Shawn Hall says ­Telus routinely negotiates with domain owners to secure its web presence, but despite securing telus​ca,,, and, has yet to be lassoed. “It’s likely a case that the owners of that snapped it up before we were able to,” explains Hall. (For the record, BCBusiness still hasn’t finagled bcbusiness​.com from a Sooke-based security company.)

Telus isn’t prepared to miss the boat this time. “Every time a country code is announced, we generally submit requests, if applicable,” says Hall.

As of mid-March, some dot-asia URLs were still conspicuously available:, teekay​.asia and

Warns Negris, “There will be a lot of people out there who are banking on the fact that people haven’t taken notice of dot-asia.” Even isn’t immune to the cyber-squat: it can’t get its hands on

“One of our competitors ended up buying it from somebody else . . . and they have a written agreement that if they ever sell it, no one can ever sell it back to us,” confesses Negris. “It’s really nasty.”