July 25, 2014
The extension representing the tiny South Pacific nation of Tokelau has exceeded 25 million domain name registrations.
The counter on the NIC.tk site currently stands at 25,145,923 registrations; making it by far the largest ccTLD (country code Top Level Domain). The next in line (according to May figures from CENTR) was Germany's .DE (15.7 million). In May, .TK was around the 22 million mark.
So how does such a small nation have so many names registered by its citizens? It doesn't.
Like the .TV extension, the rights to .TK have been leased and the company that runs the registry offers free registration of .TK names to everyone, regardless of where they live.
Dot TK is currently a joint venture of the Government of Tokelau, the country's communication company Teletok and BV Dot TK, a privately held company
However, before Australians start clicking off to score a free name; it's important to remember that .AU (and particularly .COM.AU) domains are the Point Piper of online real estate in this country. The .AU extension is held in high regard by consumers and trust is an important part of setting the scene for a successful transaction.
A survey of 10,000 Australians last year found 74% those who register a name choose .AU for their online presence - and 80% of this group uses their name for business. Among Australian consumers who are wary of zones when using their credit card for online transactions, the .AU extension was most trusted.
Even globally, the .AU extension has a high level of trust.
While it will cost to register a .COM.AU, it should probably be regarded as an investment rather than an expense.
According to the auDA web site, the number of .AU domains registered currently stands at 2,872,132 - more than one name for every man, woman and child in Australia.
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