June 11, 2013
A recent report that .IO domain names were offline raised another question - what does the .IO extension represent?
With so many extensions (and more to come), it can be hard to keep up with or remember what extension is associated with whom or what.
The .IO extension is the country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for the British Indian Ocean Territory.
The British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT), commonly referred to as the Chagos Islands, is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom located in the Indian Ocean halfway between Africa and Indonesia.
While the BIOT covers approximately 54,400 km; nearly 99.9% of that is water. The remainder is land surprisingly densely populated given its isolation - around 58 people per square kilometre. However, the total population is approximately 3,000. The territory incorporates 55 islands, the largest of which is Diego Garcia.
Founded in 1997, the .IO domain registry isn't located in the Territory. Its primary presence is situated a long way off in Christchurch, England. It also has data centres in London, Tokyo, Melbourne, Seattle, San Francisco, Zurich and Amsterdam.
Anyone, anywhere can register a .IO name; but their use by Australians appears limited - Australian businesses tend to register .com.au domain names given the high level of awareness of and trust in the .com.au extension.
With such a small population, .IO doesn't host much in the way of local content, but it seems .IO domain names have found some popularity with online application start-ups for the hip sound when added to the end of a domain name.
Getting back to the reports - it was mentioned .IO domains stopped resolving for a period last week; but at the time of writing; all .io destinations tested appeared to be resolving without a problem.
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