New .info domain name proves popular

Fourteen months after .info Top Level Domain (TLD) names became available on the Internet, the millionth .info Web site was signed up last week, making it now the sixth largest domain online.

Afilias Ltd., which maintains the registry for .info names under a contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), will tomorrow announce that the millionth .info Web site name was registered to by registrar Go Daddy Software Inc. in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Nov. 13.

Roland LaPlante, chief marketing officer at Afilias, which is headquartered in Dublin, and has a U.S. office in Newtown, Pa., said the registrations have grown steadily since the company began accepting applications on Sept. 12, 2001.

The .info domain is being used by a wide range of organizations and businesses that had been locked out of many desired domain names in the already crowded .com domain, he said.

"If you try to get your business name in a .com name, it's really difficult," LaPlante said. "This is the global home of information on the Internet. It's not just about selling stuff. That's why it's had such broad appeal."

About 265,000, or 27 percent, of the 1 million registered .info sites are now online and available to Web visitors, he said, compared to about 35 percent of .com names in active use, according to Afilias.

The new .info names trail only .com, .net, .org, .de (German country code) and .uk (England country code) domains in the number of registered Web sites, he said.

.Info was one of seven new TLDs announced in May 2001 by ICANN to relieve congestion in the TLD space historically dominated by .com.

By last December, .info had about 675,000 name registrations, including New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority; the World Trade Center Relief information site and Cherry Hill, N.J.-based car maker Subaru of America Inc. In each case, the respective .com addresses had already been used by others.

"That is what's going to move .info into the mainstream," LaPlante said, describing the comparative ease of getting .info domain names.

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