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Data Reveals Domain Name Registrations Have Hit All-Time Highs

In a report released today, VeriSign has stated that more than 4.7 million new domain names registered during the first quarter of 2004—highest ever recorded in a three-month period. A related press release states:

The profile reveals that more than 63 million domain names have now been registered, approximately one for every 100 people living in the world today. This number is greater than at any time in the Internet’s history, surpassing even the heights that were seen during the Internet “bubble.” Moreover, data reveal that the current base of domain names is being utilized more actively than ever before, as measured by renewal rates, look-up rates, and the percentage of domain names tied to live sites.

As the operator of the global registry for .com and .net, as well as the provider of two of the root servers for the global domain name system, VeriSign has a unique view into the expansion and development of the Internet. The VeriSign Domain Report and the VeriSign Domain Name Registrant Profile mark the second issue in VeriSign’s quarterly Domain Name Industry Brief series. The series provides Internet users across the world with key statistical and analytical research on the domain name market. Each quarter, the Brief showcases a quarterly topic related to important Internet trends, and updates the Domain Report which provides key industry data.

Findings in this quarter’s Brief include both an increasingly strong rate of new registrations, and a growing stability and utilization within the existing domain name base. Highlights include:

Overall Growth: New registrations, renewal rates, and the overall number of domain names under registration, all set records in the first quarter of 2004. Showing 21 percent growth over the first quarter of 2003, total domain name registrations surpassed 63 million domain names by the end of Q1.

Increasing Utilization: In addition to being larger than at any point in history, the current domain name base is also being used more actively. Over 72 percent of today’s domain names now resolve to a Web site, up from 55 percent at the height of the boom in December 2002. In addition, total domain name resolutions for .com and .net reached an average of 11 billion per day in the first quarter, indicating that the speculative purchase of domain names that fueled much of the growth in the late nineties has been replaced by real Web sites and e-mail boxes, to which real people are connecting.

Increasing Globalization: Country Code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs) account for a growing portion of overall domain names, and currently represent 40 percent of all domain names registered in the world. The majority of ccTLDs are registered in Europe, including .de (Germany) and .uk (United Kingdom), which account for twelve percent and eight percent, respectively, of all domains registered in the world. In fact, .de accounts for more than 90 percent of all domains registered in Germany. Several countries around the world have already launched Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs), also known as “multilingual” domains, which allow for the use of domain names written in non ASCII character sets. Other countries are planning to launch IDN capabilities this year.

The report suggests that the “Key factors for the growth trend include the improvement of the global economy, the increasing number of global Internet users, and increased access to domain names. Individuals and businesses are registering domain names primarily to create niche, local, regional, national and international Websites and to facilitate email marketing. They also register for other purposes as diverse as protecting a domain name from competitors or hoping to sell it for a profit.”

The copy of the report can be found here [PDF].

By CircleID Reporter

CircleID’s internal staff reporting on news tips and developing stories. Do you have information the professional Internet community should be aware of? Contact us.

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Jim Tozzi  –  Jun 19, 2004 7:58 PM

This usage demonstrates the need for ICANN to exist an the “techincal manager of the internet”, not its “regulator.”
See ICANNfocus.org

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