Under a contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned
Names and Numbers (ICANN), VeriSign operates the master database
of all .com and .net domains. VeriSign collects a few dollars a
year for each domain name from the approximately 200 ICANN-accredited
registrars that sell domain names to the public.
Although .com domains continued to lead the
list, country code top-level domains emerged as the
fastest-growing group and now account for 39 per cent of all
domain registrations. The most popular are .de for Germany and .uk
for the United Kingdom.
Some of the key factors that spurred domain
registrations and renewals include a spurt of activity by
consumers and small businesses, and the availability of domain
names in previously underserved markets, VeriSign said.
"The numbers of overall domain
registrations, coupled with the number of lookups processed each
day by VeriSign's global registry, indicate that internet users
are setting up more Web sites and using those websites to
perform commerce and communications on the internet in greater
frequency than ever before," Raynor Dahlquist, VeriSign's
acting vice president for naming and directory services, said in
VeriSign also reported that while .net is
the fourth most popular domain, it accounts for 31 per cent of
all webpage views and 32 per cent of business-to-consumer
ecommerce transactions. It also has the largest number of hosts,
or machines connected to the Internet. An earlier VeriSign
briefing report in July noted a recent boost in ecommerce.