21st Jul 2019

Economic downturn hits EU internet domain name

Four years after it was created, Europe's top-level internet domain - .eu - has attracted over 3 million registrations, with applicants from Germany the most numerous. But the project has not managed to entirely avoid the effects of the economic crisis.

According to a quarterly summary published by EURid, the non-profit European group responsible for .eu registrations, the number of registrants grew by 48,000 or 1.6 percent to over 3 million during the first four months of this year compared to the previous quarter.

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But daily statistics released on Thursday (20 August) show that the current number of registrations has slipped back below the 3 million point.

The combination of new registrations and deletions showed a net growth of around 500 names per day, the EURid report pointed out, adding that renewal rates stayed strong during the first quarter at an average of 78 percent, while new registrations per day grew somewhat more slowly than last year.

"The difficult economic times have affected many, including those of us in the domain community. Growth in registrations was somewhat slower over the first quarter of 2009 but .eu registrations did continue to grow," EURid's general manager, Marc Van Wesemael, commented.

According to the fresh data, the highest number of private citizens and businesses using the domain was recorded in Germany, with almost a million individual users (918,518), followed by the Netherlands (414,687) and the UK (310832).

For some time now, .eu has maintained its position as the ninth-largest top-level domain in the world, preceded by the most popular domain name, .com (with 80 million registrations), followed by .cn, .de, .net, .org, .uk, .info and .nl.

A domain name is a simple way for a computer or network to be identified on the internet, with .eu used as the country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for the 27-member European Union for organisations, businesses and private citizens.

It was launched on 7 December 2005, first through a sunrise period and with the full registration kicking off in April 2006.

The EURid consortium consists of the national TLD registry operators of Belgium, Sweden, Italy and the Czech Republic.

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