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08|12|2008 10:07 pm EDT

Anecdotal Evidence of ccTLDs and Internet in the Other Countries

by Ahmed Farooq in Categories: ccTLDs

I’ve spent the last three months in Argentina, traveling and exploring the country – north, east, west, and south – all covered. Beyond the “definitely visit this country it kicks ass and people are super-nice” there was some interesting internet usage as compared to the US:

  • ccTLDs are everywhere. I walk past random hardware stores that use .com.ar. I have not seen a single .com mentioned anywhere, but I’ve seen at least a thousand .ar domains (be it tourist attractions, hotels, realtors, retail stores, or travel companies). On top of this, most sites are only in Spanish – a few that cater exclusively to foreigners (eg realtors) have English versions, but they still use .com.ar as their domain.
  • Wifi is everywhere. At least 80% of cafes and restaurants (unexpected) have wifi. Free wifi. Finding an internet connection is not hard.
  • Online ordering is very common. Ice cream delivery. Wine delivery. Grocery delivery. Pizza delivery. You just put in your information, what you want, and order away. No need to pay until the order actually arrives.
  • Savvy companies are using generics. A large Indian restaurant here uses Tandoor.com.ar (kind of cooking style). A popular Japanese delivery joint uses Sushi.com.ar. Just like .com some people understand the value of the generic domain.
  • The computer is not indispensible. This is likely the hardest point for people to get – for me (and likely you), the computer is an everyday part of your life. It isn’t for most people here. People actually live fine without the internet :)

Just a few things to munch on.

Update: Definitely worth reading the comments page.

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9 Comments

Johnny B. Good

August 12, 2008 @ 10:28 pm EDT

Interesting to hear.

I have traveled Brazil a lot in the last three years and there is a huge mix of .com and com.br. However, the Brazil gov’t just made it easier for common citizens to buy domains …. so maybe in three or four years there will be a lot more .com.br domains.

mountaingoat

August 12, 2008 @ 11:28 pm EDT

Thanks for the post.

I actually had very different experiences this year, probably in part due to the fact that some of the countries were less developed. 5 months in Ecuador, Columbia, Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

– .com was TLD of choice in probably 80%+/- of the URLs I saw

– WIFI is everywhere in tourist areas, but internet connections in people’s homes are still too expensive for the vast majority of families. It’s not that people don’t want to use the internet (internet cafes everywhere….often used more by ‘locals’ than tourists), it’s just too expensive right now. $30-$50/month is ALOT of money in these places.

– In Ecuador specifically (and I suspect some of the other countries), people with money would love to buy things online from outside the country, but a) shipping costs are absurd, and b) the postal system is corrupt…..the contents of most foreign packages are stolen.

– Following your ‘computer is not indispensible’ theme, in many places outside the cities, even cars, TVs, radios, and other material possessions are still not indispensible. :) A soccer ball is the only thing that is not indispensible, plus maybe a chicken running around in the front yard that will make for a nice dinner.

I’m certainly not refuting your comments…..just sharing different anectodal evidence.

AhmedF

August 13, 2008 @ 1:18 am EDT

You are absolutely right – I was in Colombia earlier this year for 3 months, and you are spot on – as a poorer country, Colombia’s internet access was far lagging behind.

My experience in Chile (more limited than Argentina) was similar to Argentina – lots of .cl usage, wifi everywhere, and so forth.

You can argue that Chile and Argentina are the two most successful countries in South America, and so arguably the other countries are headed in the same direction :)

Gustavo Cardial

August 13, 2008 @ 3:18 am EDT

Great post, it’s really interesting to notice the TLDs of choice on different countries.

I’m from Brazil and as Johnny said, there’s a good mix of .com and .com.br here. But, definitely, .com.br is MUCH more common!

jp

August 13, 2008 @ 5:11 am EDT

Traveled the world surfing last year (my version of a bachelor party)

I too studied ccTLD patterns while I was out and about.

Australia – used their .com.au and .com. Wasn’t really there for too long. Internet access was no problem

Indonesia – had a local presense with their ccTLD .co.id, but noticed more .com’s. Internet cafes not super easy to find but available if you look.

Thailand – Only really saw .com there, internet cafes a little better than Indo

South Africa – heavy on their .co.za. Very few .com’s. Internet available everywhere but always very slow.

Was around Europe for a little while (Amsterdam, Spain, Italy), they’ve just got a grab bag of ccTLDs going around, and of course internet everywhere

Brazil – heavy on their .com.br. Still saw some .com. Had no problem finding internet access

Costa Rica – only remember seeing .com. Internet access was touch and go. Not super easy to find

AhmedF

August 13, 2008 @ 10:44 am EDT

Nice info jp – thanks.

javierf

August 13, 2008 @ 10:47 am EDT

En Argentina estamos 10 a

Jothan Frakes

August 15, 2008 @ 10:36 am EDT

Ahmed, you totally get it man.

Latin America and the Caribbean are more wired than one would first think.

ccTLD adoption and local internet use/penetration go hand in hand. There is a thing I call the “com factor” which is what the ratio of com to local ccTLD (whether it is .zz or .co(m).zz) and it varies a lot by country. Typically, the more restrictive the local ccTLD the lower its adoption against .COM. Also, the level of difficulty to register, number of years since releasing or removing restrictions, the price of registration, the local economics, and internet adoption in said country all impact the “com factor”.

In Argentina, there is a wide adoption of internet use, a low cost to register (although there is a local presence element to that), and a sophisticated economy and user base.

Chris Cheng

September 23, 2008 @ 3:22 am EDT

After reading your article, it just make me want to live there.
I may find a way to study there in future.

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