Los Angeles today officially becomes the world's first city to have its own Internet domain.
Approved by the Internet Corporation for Assignment Names and Numbers, the “.la” domain offers the same functionality as .com. It is available to Los Angeles businesses and residents for $50 a year per registered name with the .la suffix.
In the month since its soft launch, nearly 10,000 names with the .la address have been pre-registered. Registrants include brands like Yahoo's yahoo.la, Rolex's rolex.la, Madonna's Madonna.la and Arnold Schwarzenegger's arnie.la.
LA Names Corp., Guernsey, UK, is the operator of .la, working with Dublin, Ireland-based domain name registrar Afilias Ltd. on the infrastructure and technology. DreamHost, a Los Angeles-based ICANN-approved registrar, will operate www.la to promote sales of .la.
LA Names struck a deal with LANIC, a department of the government of the Lao People's Democratic Republic in Southeast Asia. Laos originally was assigned the name by ICANN.
The operator expects 1 million .la addresses to be registered over the next few years.