TRA announces Oman-specific domain names [Week, The (Oman)]
(Week, The (Oman) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Omantel, Nawras and Gulf Cybertech E-Solutions to register new domain names
The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority's (TRA) plans to introduce and implement a unique domain name for the sultanate (.om) and its Arabic equivalent reached an important milestone as the TRA announced Nawras, Omantel and Gulf Cybertech E-Solutions as accredited registrars for the country code top-level domain (ccTLD). According to Hilal O al Siyabi, manager of media and consumer affairs, TRA, the goal of providing businesses in Oman with the new domains is to boost their local presence and to facilitate bridging the gap for Internet users who only speak Arabic.
"Arabic-language users will now be able to have a seamless experience completely in Arabic from the moment they turn on their computers through to the point where they access required information on the Internet. It gives customers confidence that it is an authentic Omani website and highlights the organisation's local presence. It will also help interlink a new segment of users," Hilal said.
The accreditation policy agreement that was signed by the companies and TRA authorises the companies to start receiving requests to register Internet domain names for both ccTLD (.om) and the Arabic domain. The accredited registrars were also mandated by the TRA to perform other related services such as update, transfer, removal and renewal of domain names. The categories for the domain names to be registered include .com.om, .edu.om, .gov.om, .org.om, .museum.om, .pro.om and .med.om. To register under the domain name (.net.om), the TRA states as a condition that the applicant is licensed to provide telecommunications services in the sultanate; however, governmental bodies and commercial companies in the sultanate may directly register their websites under the domain names (.om) and Arabic domain.
Until April of last year, Omantel was the sole entity providing this service and understandably it is also one of the accredited registrars, bringing with it years of experience in the field. Ali Bakhit Hassan Kashoob, senior manager product development, marketing, corporate business unit of Omantel, said, "We are quite proficient in this field and have been providing these services for our customers for many years. Now we are truly a one-stop-shop solution for businesses in Oman." Moha-mmed Jaffar Najwani, business products manager at Nawras, mirrored the business solutions comments and added, "We feel that it is important for local businesses, especially those serious about professionalism and making a mark in Oman, to have a website with a .om domain. We at Nawras are proud to be a part of TRA's initiative."
However, Mohamed al Kindi, senior manager of TRA's technical affairs unit, said that the regulatory authority was being cautious and carefully watching how similar IT solutions were being adopted and implemented in neighbouring countries. "In Oman, and in the region, Internet users are primarily content consumers, not creators. For the sheer number of Arabic speaking people in the region and the world, there is very little content available in Arabic. Many people still don't speak English and having more Arabic content with a local domain will hopefully help create Arabic content that is available and easily accessible locally. Having more than one accredited registrar will create a competitive environment in terms of providing options for quality of service and preference in the selection of the appropriate price." Institutions and companies can check the availability of domains through www.registry.om or through accredited registrars.
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