Asean may have own internet exchange, domain by 2015

The grouping of 10 countries is expected to follow in the footsteps of the European Union, which now has a ".eu” domain.

Having an Internet exchange based in the region with a population of 600 million people means that businesses will not have to route their connections to far-flung locations like the United States and Europe before reaching Asean countries.

Information, Communications and Culture Minister Dr Rais Yatim said ministers attending the 10th Telecommunications and Information Technology Ministers Meeting (Telmin) had all agreed to implement this under the Asean ICT Masterplan, Star newspaper said today.

"It was generally agreed that we should have a domain. We need to have our own Internet exchange which we don't have now. We have to go to California.
That is not practical," he said, after launching the masterplan at the end of the meeting here yesterday.

Rais said Asean senior telecommunication officials had been directed to study the matter, which would be discussed at the next Telmin in Naypyidaw, Myanmar, at the end of the year.

He said it had been suggested that the host of the Asean Internet exchange could be within the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore-Jakarta triangle area but this had to be studied.
"No member country has offered yet. This is a fresh idea," he said, adding that the meeting had agreed to implement this by 2015.

"All the countries have agreed to work on this but we have to do a lot of research and preparation.

At the next Myanmar meeting, I can foresee that this will be the popular topic," said Dr Rais.

His Singapore counterpart Lui Tuck Yew said that having to route information between Asean members to the United States would not help the region realise its potential in telecommunications, ICT development and usage.

"In industry parlance, this is tromboning. It increases cost, reduces (Internet) speed and worsens latency.

If we can look at this more closely, there is potential to bring about greater connectivity in the region," he said.

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