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Happy 25th Birthday to .NL domain

Today it is 25 years since the Internet domain .nl was introduced. SIDN, the company behind “.nl”, will organise various events in celebration of this milestone, and is looking back on how it all started.

In 1986, the Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI or Centre for Mathematics and Computer Science) was tasked with the management of the .nl domain. As a result, .nl became the first country domain outside of the United States.

The .nl domain has developed into the third largest country domain in the world, ranking behind .de (Germany) and .uk (United Kingdom). Research by McAfee shows that it is also one of the safest domains. In addition, The Netherlands has the second highest domain name density per capita: 35 domains per 100 inhabitants for all top-level domains combined. The average length of .nl domains is also somewhat longer than that of other countries. The reason for this is that the Dutch often include a slogan or payoff in their domain names.

The 25th anniversary of the .nl domain marks an important milestone in the development of the Netherlands as a knowledge and innovation country. For this reason, SIDN in collaboration with NEMO, is organising an interesting exhibition on Internet developments as part of ‘Scientific 2011’. Earlier this year the website was launched, where all Dutch internet users can share their personal Internet experiences and participate in a story contest.

.nl — statistics at a glance
• Currently over 4.4 million .nl domains are active. Each day, 2,700 domains are added. Taking into account the cancellation of existing domains, this entails an annual growth of approximately half a million domains.
• 38% of the .nl domains are owned by private individuals; this percentage is on the rise.
• The .nl domain names are registered through approximately 1,900 registrars that provide additional web hosting and e-mail services.
• The longest .nl domain names contain 63 characters, such as the decimals for the number pi (π):
• By now, all domain names have been registered (a total of 1,296). Approximately half of the 3-character .nl domain names have been registered (25,151 out of a total of 47,952 domain names).
• The total number of possible domain names is 260,575,434,512,486,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (based on 99 characters). Only 0.000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000002% of these domain names have been registered.
• The average length of a .nl domain name is 13 characters.
• The average length increases with 1 character approximately every 5 years.
• The average lifecycle of a .nl domain spans 4 years.
• 96.4% of the .nl domain names have been registered by Dutch individuals or companies. The rest of the domain names have been registered by individuals or entities in 174 other countries.