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Mali is the First African Nation to Give Its .ML Domain Names Away for Free

DURBAN, South Africa, Jul 15, 2013 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Mali has become the first African nation to give its domains for free. Presenting at the ICANN meeting in Durban, South Africa, the Point ML Registry opened up its website to allow registrants worldwide to register a free .ML domain name. Point ML – the Mali domain name – is operated by the Agence des Technologies de l’Information et de la Communication (AGETIC) as a generic, unrestricted, clean and global TLD focusing on individuals and businesses in- and outside Mali.

Free domain names are offered to all internet users in both Mali and other countries. Registrants in Mali got a headstart last week, on Thursday, when the Minister of Post and New Technologies registered the first free .ML domain name in front of a large audience and with big applause in Bamako. There are no restrictions to registrations of free domains and anyone can claim their own .ML domain. Free .ML domains work exactly like any other domain name extension and can be renewed indefinitely at no charge.

The general availability of free domain name registrations was preceded by a Sunrise and Landrush period which aimed to protect trademark holders worldwide by offering them a priority registration system. Many large corporations from all over the world took the opportunity to register their trademarks in the .ML extension and the pre-launch was deemed a real success for the Registry.

“Providing free domain names to our own community and to internet users worldwide is a great opportunity for Mali. We are proud to be the first African nation to give domain names for free.”, says Hawa Diakite, Chef du Service de Gestion du .ML at AGETIC. “We believe that providing free domain names to our internet population will greatly improve the usage and the knowledge of the IT industry in our country.”

The .ML Registry is powered by Freedom Registry. Freedom Registry has the expertise and knowledge to run a large country code registry, as it already operates the .TK Top Level Domain. Dot TK is the largest country code on the internet, with more than 18 million active domain names. Freedom Registry’s AnyCast cloud, with servers located in 15 countries, ensures excellent performance and continuous uptime of all domains.

“We are glad that the situation in the Northern part of Mali is coming to an end. However, the armed conflict caused severe degradation of the internet connectivity throughout Mali”, says Moussa Dolo, General Manager of AGETIC. “We are now rebuilding our infrastructure and any extra help is welcome. By providing free domain names to internet users worldwide we will show a different face of Mali: a country committed to new technologies and with fantastic opportunities.”

Domain names are available on a “first-come, first-served” basis. Resellers are welcome to sign up and provide further domain name distribution – for both free and paid domains. Further details on the launch, FAQs and the reseller registration process are available on www.point.ml.

About Point ML
Point ML is an initiative of the Agence des Technologies de l’Information et de la Communication (AGETIC) in Bamako, Mali. Supported by the actors in the local internet community, AGETIC’s mission is to develop and promote the usage of domain names and the internet in Mali. AGETIC is using the infrastructure and expertise of Freedom Registry to run the ML domain in a stable and automated way. With its experienced team, multi-redundant backbones and DNS root-servers located in every corner of the world, Point ML can handle millions of registrations and is fully secure.

About Freedom Registry
Freedom Registry is a registry operator for Top Level Domains, and the pioneer of the free domain model. Its mission is to offer an alternative business model to TLDs in order to make them competitive on the global domain market. Its first joint venture, the .TK Top Level Domain of the nation of Tokelau, was started in 2001 and is today the largest country code in the world with over 18 million active domains. Thanks to this innovative model, the .TK has more domains registered than Russia and China combined. Freedom Registry is now reaching out to countries interested in giving their national TLD a new start.


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