India gets patriotic with .in domain

The Indian government is making it easier to register Internet addresses with the “.in” top-level country domain, with a view to strengthening India’s identity on the Internet.

As of January, businesses and individuals will be able to complete the registration of .in domain names entirely online, Dayanidhi Maran, the country’s minister for information technology and communications, said Thursday in Delhi.

Although many companies and organizations in India have Web sites, only about 7,000 use the .in domain. Maran urged them to register under the country’s own domain name as a gesture of patriotism.

The .in suffix will be available on an unlimited basis for the second level of domain names — such as — and at the third level for popular domains such as or, the government said in a statement.

The entire process of registration will be online and should take less than 24 hours from the request of the registrant. The .in registry will announce a “sunrise period” of 90 days to enable registered trademark owners, registered companies and owners of intellectual property who have a legitimate interest in protecting their brand, to register their domain names.

The announcement is the latest in a series of initiatives by the Indian government to increase Internet proliferation in India. The government announced a policy earlier this month that is expected to increase broadband penetration, including removal of regulations on the last mile of connectivity to users.

Internet penetration in India is still very low and mainly confined to urban areas. As of December last year, the country had 0.4 connections per 100 persons, according to a study by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. Most of these connections were dial-up. The penetration of broadband was far lower, at 0.02 per cent per 100 persons, according to TRAI.

The government has set a target of 40 million Internet subscribers by 2010 of which 20 million will have broadband access. The number of Internet subscribers as of June this year was about five million, according to TRAI.

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