NEW YORK – Internet decisions aren't always made at Internet speeds.
The Internet's key oversight agency has approved a plan to phase out the domain name for Yugoslavia, four years after the country dissolved following civil war.
It'll take two or three more years for ".yu" users to fully transition to ".rs" for Serbia and ".me" for Montenegro.
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Politics played a big part in the delay.
The federation of Serbia and Montenegro, formed from the remnants of Yugoslavia in 2003, was given ".cs." But before anyone could use it, the country further split into Serbia and Montenegro last year.
Each time there's a change, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers must find an organization that is representative of the country's users and has the will and the skills to run the domain.
In unanimous votes last week, ICANN assigned ".me" to Montenegro's government and ".rs" to a group called the Serbian National Register of Internet Domain Names, a nonprofit organization formed for the task.
The Serbian group also was appointed caretaker of ".yu" during the transition, taking over duties from volunteers at the University of Belgrade.
Names do disappear from time to time, including East Germany's ".dd" and Zaire's ".zr" after the country became the Democratic Republic of the Congo (".cd").
But change isn't always easy: A Google search produced about 3 million sites still using ".su" — for the Soviet Union.