November 9, 2011
While most Australians wouldn't be overly familiar with Germany's .de domain name extension, it's the most popular country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) in the world. Requests for domains using the .de extension occur around 100,000 times a second.
According to DENIC, the central registry for .de, more than 14.6 million domains ending in the extension are registered, with approximately 3,000 new registrations every day. Around 17.8% of citizens of the Federal Republic of Germany are registrants of a .de domain and nearly 80 percent of all domain holders under .de are individuals.
It all began on November 5, 1986 when the extension was included in the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority official list, the tenth country to do so. Like generic domains such as .com, .net and .org; .de began its existence before the World Wide Web was publicly accessible.
There was another extension put aside for Germany at the time, .dd; but after the reunification of Germany in 1990, .dd was never used.
Administration and DNS service for .de were provided by universities for the first decade, including a USA institution. The roles where then assumed by bodies within the country that evolved into DENIC. DENIC says it was the pioneer of the registry/registrar model in the 1990's, which simplified the process of domain name registration.
Given the extension's popularity, robust infrastructure is crucial. Germany's reputation for attention to detail and forward planning is reflected in its domain name server platforms that can be scaled up to several million queries per second, allowing plenty of room for growth.
That room to grow will be needed as the Internet is an incredibly important part of business in Germany. DENIC says according to a study published earlier this year, the Internet generates 3.2 percent of German gross domestic product, making it even more valuable to the nation's economy than its energy or agriculture sector.
Germany's love affair with the Internet shows no sign of slowing, having experienced a growth rate of 24 percent in the last 5 years.
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