Internet Domain Names Grow by 7.9% in 1Q11

There are now 209.8 million registered domain names.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted May 27, 2011
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According to the latest Domain Name Industry Brief report from VeriSign, the Internet domain name business is still growing.

For the first quarter of 2011, VeriSign reported a 7.9 percent year-over-year increase in domain registrations, which translates into 4.5 million domains registered in 2011 so far. The total base of domain name registrations now tops 209.8 million.

Growing even faster than the global aggregate base are the .com and .net Top Level Domains (TLDs). VeriSign reported that their base of .com and .net grew to more than 108 million names. The first quarter .com and .net domain tally represents a 9.2 percent year-over-year increase. In terms of domains, that's 8.3 million new .com and .net domain registrations in the first quarter of 2011.

Country CodeTop Level Domains (ccTLDs) also grew during the first quarter of 2011. VeriSign reported that ccTLDs grew by 5.1 percent on a year-over-year basis to a total of 81.7 million registered domain names.

Some ccTLDs were reported to be growing faster than others. VeriSign noted that Canada (.ca) and Australia (.au) both posted year-over-year growth rates of 20 percent, which is a growth rate that no other ccTLDs achieved.

For the first quarter of 2011, VeriSign ranked top TLDs in terms of domains registered as: .com, .de , .net, .uk, .org, .info, .nl, .eu, .cn and .ru.

Growth in domain names is accompanied by growth in the volume of DNS queries handled by VeriSign. VeriSign helps operate the Internet's root DNS servers. During the first quarter of 2011, VeriSign reported a peak DNS query load of 67 billion queries which is an increase of 6 percent on a year-over-year basis.

"The ongoing growth of DNS query loads stems both from normal traffic drivers -- most notably the continuing increase in global internet usage -- and from increasingly powerful distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks leveled against all parts of the Internet's critical infrastructure," The VeriSign Domain Name Industry brief report states. "These increases, both from benign and malicious sources, require aggressive innovation and investment on the part of infrastructure operators to meet the growing demand."

VeriSign is currently in the midst of a multi-year $300 million DNS upgrade known as Project Apollo which has the goal of increasing capacity to handle 4 quadrillion queries, or 1,000 times more queries than it can today.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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