ⓘ .com


ⓘ .com

The domain name com is a top-level domain in the Domain Name System of the Internet. Added in 1985, its name is derived from the word commercial, indicating its original intended purpose for domains registered by commercial organizations. Later, the domain opened for general purposes.

The domain was originally administered by the United States Department of Defense, but is today operated by Verisign, and remains under ultimate jurisdiction of U.S. law. Verisign Registrations in the.com domain are processed via registrars accredited by ICANN. The registry accepts internationalized domain names.

The domain was one of the original top-level domains TLDs in the Internet when the Domain Name System was implemented in January 1985, the others being edu, gov, mil, net, org, and int. It has grown into the largest top-level domain.


1. History

The domain com was one of the first set of top-level domains when the Domain Name System was first implemented for use on the Internet on January 1, 1985. The domain was administered by the U.S. Department of Defense DoD, however the department contracted the domain maintenance to SRI International. SRI created DDN-NIC, also known as SRI-NIC, or simply the NIC Network Information Center, then accessible online with the domain name nic.ddn.mil. Beginning October 1, 1991, an operations contract was awarded to Government Systems Inc. GSI, which sub-contracted it to Network Solutions Inc. NSI.

On January 1, 1993, the National Science Foundation assumed responsibility of maintenance, as com was primarily being used for non-defense interests. The NSF contracted operation to Network Solutions NSI. In 1995, the NSF authorized NSI to begin charging registrants an annual fee, for the first-time since the domains inception. Initially the fee was US$50 per year, with US$35 going to NSI, and US$15 going to a government fund. New registrations had to pay for the first two years, making the new-domain registration fee US$100. In 1997 the United States Department of Commerce assumed authority over all generic TLDs. It is currently operated by VeriSign, which had acquired Network Solutions. VeriSign later spun off Network Solutions non-registry functions into a separate company which continues as a registrar. In the English language the domain is often spelled with a leading period and commonly pronounced as dot-com, and has entered common parlance this way.

Although com domains were originally intended to designate commercial entities, the domain has had no restrictions for eligible registrants since the mid-1990s. With the commercialization and popularization of the Internet, the domain was opened to the public and quickly became the most common top-level domain for websites, email, and networking. Many companies that flourished in the period from 1997 to 2001 - the time known as the "dot-com bubble" - incorporated the label com into company names; these became known as dot-coms or dot-com companies. The introduction of biz in 2001, which is restricted to businesses, has had no impact on the popularity of com.

Although companies anywhere in the world can register com domains, many countries have a second-level domain with a similar purpose under their own country code top-level domain ccTLD, such as Australia com.au, China com.cn, Greece com.gr, India co.in, Indonesia co.id, Japan co.jp, Mexico com.mx, Nepal.com.np, Pakistan com.pk, South Korea co.kr, Sri Lanka com.lk, Taiwan com.tw, United Kingdom co.uk, and Vietnam.com.vn.

Many non-commercial sites and networks use com names to benefit from the perceived recognizability of a com domain. However, the registration statistics show varying popularity over the years.

In December 2011, VeriSign reported that approximately 100 million com domains were registered. As of March 2009, VeriSign reported that the domain is served by 926 accredited registrars.

On November 29, 2012, the U.S. Department of Commerce approved renewal of the com Registry Agreement between Verisign, Inc., and ICANN. Through this agreement, Verisign managed the com registry until November 30, 2018.