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Launching “.ar”: A New Starting Point

Marcelo Funes, Director at NIC Argentina

NIC Argentina has just opened the “.ar” domain registration to offer a wider variety of options for the community and to create new versatile and memorable alternatives. For more details on this, we interviewed Marcelo Funes, Director at NIC Argentina. 

Marcelo has a major in Computer Science, a Master’s Degree in Technology Services and Telecommunications, and a diploma in Smart Cities. His efforts and projects have always been linked to technology and the innovation in public policy. 

At NIC Argentina, Marcelo is not only in charge of delivering an efficient service to the domain registration management, but also of enabling safe access for all Argentinians to a safe and reliable Internet for the country’s production development.

—Are the “.ar” top-level domains already available?

—Yes, all “.ar” top-level domains are available as of September 15. This is a key step for NIC Argentina, and we are happy to be able to make it possible under the current special circumstances the whole world is going through.

—What are the expectations for this launch?

—The “.ar” domains have great potential as they allow to create simple and appealing names that are easy to remember. These characteristics are key during a time in which we are all hyperconnected and overloaded with information. Also, infinite verbs ending in “-ar” in Spanish are an endless source of creativity for brand names. 

—Are there any campaigns promoting this development?

—Of course. We are already working on communicating this. Firstly, we want those who already have registered domains to know that they have this new option. Also, we want those who do not have a domain yet to feel inspired by the possibility of “.ar”.

Our strategy is strong and targeted. We want to communicate with each industry in a relevant and valuable manner.

We also want to engage actors from all over the Internet industry to make this a successful campaign. Synergy and collaborative work are key to us.

—Is this a good time to introduce “.ar”?

—It is definitely a great time to do it. Our aim was to provide more and better tools so that people can have an alternative on the Internet to develop and grow their projects.

Since the beginning of this pandemic, NIC Argentina has been growing exponentially. Thousands of people are registering their domains for the first time, and we are there to help them. We want to act as a sort of gateway to the Internet; we want to be the protagonists of development and recovery.

This is why we think “.ar” is a new starting point.

—Which are the indicators of such growth?

—We now have 20% more registered domains than a year ago. In the last three months, there was a record number of registrations.

During this growth, we are improving our service, both at the technical level and at the level of user support services.

—What are some other projects for this year?

—We are working to make NIC Argentina a registry of excellence focused on enabling access to the Internet on equal terms for all individuals.

To achieve this, there are projects already underway to improve the infrastructure, simplify user experience, enhance communication channels, create content kits for people with no experience, improve NIC.AR CSIRT, launch educational and awareness campaigns, develop technical tools for community use, and promote the digitization of entrepreneurs and small businesses.

As I mentioned earlier, one of our priorities is to work collaboratively with all industries, both in the public and private sector, to achieve our goals.

We are also working hard on data analysis for our decision-making processes.