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Country code domains - preserving your identity - 12/2000

Report from Network Solutions

Total registrations in country-specific domains have increased from just under 1 million in early 1998 to over 5 million in mid 2000, a stunning increase which until last year had gone relatively unnoticed.

Some countries require that applicants register in specific sub-domains. In other words, in the United Kingdom, one must register as name.co.uk; the .co being reserved for commercial interests in the United Kingdom domain. It would not be possible to register as name.uk. In other countries, like Mexico, one must register as name.com.mx, the .com part having nothing to do with the well-known .com generic domain. In Germany, there are no sub-domains, so all must register as name.de.

You may have heard about the .cc domain. The .cc country-code is officially delegated to the Cocos and Keeling Islands, located about 1,000 miles northwest of Australia in the Indian Ocean. Contrary to some reports, it is not new. It has been around for years, just like .com and the other 242 domain extensions. What is new is how it's being marketed as an alternative to .com for those that could not get their choice of names in the .com domain. Although, the .cc domain does not appear to currently enjoy the same market penetration and general public awareness, especially outside the United States. Any customer confusion in understanding the difference between .cc and .com could result in lost sales or misdirected e-mail.

We receive many inquiries about registering in the United States (.us) domain. Note that the .us domain is among the least marketing-friendly domains on the planet. All domains registered must be geographically specific. It is not possible to register name.us. One must register as name.city.state.us. Obviously this type of address would be certainly hard to market and remember. Thus the .us domain is seldom used by serious marketers and has little commercial value.

Multilingual character-set domain name registrations will be offered very soon for .com names- domain names using Chinese, Japanese or Korean characters. VERY IMPORTANT: Even though you may have registered your name in English characters within .com, you will want to protect your good name by registering in the available multilingual character sets once they become available, especially if you do any business overseas. Also, the much-publicized new top-level domains like .web, .shop, .eu have not been approved and are not yet available.