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Just recently, an additional seven TLDs got added to the internet root as part of a new generic TLD process run by Data Network Server (DNS) overseer, ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). These seven TLDs were the ones that pushed the threshold to over 1,000. They included .barcelona .airtel, .bcn, .jprs, .game, .studio, and .live.
In response, Internet Assigned Numbers Authority’s Kim Davies, one of the guys in charge of maintaining the root zone of internet files updates, put up a well-referenced graphic showing the changes that have happened in the internet.
In March of 2009, there were 280 TLDs in existence with most of them being country code domains such as Germany’s .de and the United Kingdom’s being .uk. Of the 280 TLDs, 248 were .cc. Where country code domains once stood at 89% of the internet’s space of names, they now stand at a mere 29%.
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However, when we look at the actual domain size, things are very different. Country code domains are by far the biggest group with regards to sheer domain numbers although they are dwarfed by monster dot.com domains, which are over 115 million. In comparison, the new 694 ICANN created TLDs collectively manage 6.5 million, roughly the size of .nl internet space for Netherlands.
The new internet space which has provided us with everything from controversial .sucks to the baffling .horse domains is growing at an alarming rate. Within six months, the domain numbers under the current generic TLDs have nearly doubled, 3.7 million to 6.5 million.
Perhaps the important note for those interested in the history of the internet is that 1,000 is a significant number. This is due to a phrase Dr. Jon Postel, the guy who used to run the entire internet naming system, used fondly when referring to the internet. He said to let a thousand flowers bloom to mean that it was not the task of those handling internet infrastructure to determine which direction it should grow as it should only grow unburdened and on its own direction. Sadly, in October 1988, Dr. Postel died and ICANN, the organization that took his role, did not share the same philosophy. ICANN has taken 17 years to get to the point Postel and several internet founders wanted to get within one year. However, we are there, finally!
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