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Canada's Domain Extension Turns 25

May 15, 2012

Another "old-timer" of domain name extensions is Canada's .CA; which hit a quarter of a century today.

The .CA ccTLD (country code Top Level Domain) was officially delegated by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) to John Demco at the University of British Columbia (UBC) on May 14, 1987. Mr. Demco was the Computing Facilities Manager for the Department of Computer Science at the University at the time.

The first .CA domain name was registered to the University of Prince Edward Island ( in 1988.

Mr. Demco and volunteers ran the registry for 13 years, registering almost 60,000 domain names, until the responsibility was assigned to the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA). CIRA's business and affairs are managed by a 15-person Board of Directors, who are reimbursed for reasonable expenses they incur while performing their duties as directors.

By 2008,  one million .CA domains were registered and just two years later, 1.5 million registrations. At the time of writing, the CIRA web site indicates 1,926,194 .CA domain names have been registered.

Unlike generic TLD's such as  .COM, .NET or .ORG domain names, to register a .CA domain name an applicant must have a connection to Canada according to the "Canadian Presence Requirements For Registrants". Interestingly, an entity specifically mentioned as being eligible to register a .CA domain is Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II (and her successors).

As with Australian domain name registration criteria, strict guidelines help maintain the integrity of and trust in the extension.

Other .CA Trivia (from CIRA's 2012 Factbook):

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