ⓘ Country code top-level domain

.ae

The domain name ae is the country code top-level domain in the Domain Name System of the Internet for the United Arab Emirates. It is administered by.aeDA which is part of the UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority. The internationalized country code top-level domain in the Arabic alphabet of the UAE is امارات., which is represented as.xn--mgbaam7a8h in Punycode.

.af

.af is the Internet country code top-level domain for Afghanistan. It is administered by AFGNIC, a service of the UNDP and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Registration is made directly at the second level, or on the third level beneath various categorized subdomains at the second level. Third-level domains have restrictions based on which second-level domain they are registered under. Registration on second level is unrestricted, but more expensive. All fees are higher for international registrants. The domain was delegated to an Abdul Razeeq in 1997, this only a year after Taliban fi ...

.ag

Registrations can be made at the second level directly beneath.ag, or at the third level beneath.com.ag.org.ag.net.ag or.co.ag. There are no restrictions on who can register.

.al

.al is the Internet country code top-level domain for Albania. It is administered by the Electronic and Postal Communications Authority of Albania. AKEP recommends that.al domain registrations be performed with one of the AKEP accredited registrars. There are also international registrars that resell.al domains. Domain names should be between 2 and 63 characters. Although the Albanian language has a number of special characters, the registry has not enabled the use of IDN characters.

.am

The registry for.am is operated by ISOC-AM, the local chapter of the Internet Society. Regulatory notes: The AM-NIC was moved over to IPv6 address compatibility in line with the global DNS system. Armenian law prohibits its domain names from being used for spam, pornography, or terrorism sites. Each domain name is subject to review. Generally each review takes about 2 or 3 working days. Any person in the world can register a.am.com.am.net.am.org.am domain for a fee. Unicode compatible names will not be instituted at AM-NIC until all issues related to IPv6 are resolved.

.as

Domain names are free of charge for businesses and individuals resident in or associated with American Samoa. There is no restriction on registrants, and the domain is also popular outside of Samoa. There a number of.as names having been registered to and used by people, companies and organizations with no connection to American Samoa. "AS" or "A/S" is a suffix indicating a joint stock company in some countries including Norway, Denmark, Estonia and Czech Republic, so this TLD may be of use by companies of this sort. Also, some autonomous systems or websites providing information about aut ...

                                     

ⓘ Country code top-level domain

A country code top-level domain is an Internet top-level domain generally used or reserved for a country, sovereign state, or dependent territory identified with a country code.

All ASCII ccTLD identifiers are two letters long, and all two-letter top-level domains are ccTLDs. In 2018, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority IANA began implementing internationalized country code top-level domains, consisting of language-native characters when displayed in an end-user application. Creation and delegation of ccTLDs is described in RFC 1591, corresponding to ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country codes.

                                     

1. Types

As of 2015, IANA distinguishes the following groups of top-level domains:

  • country code top-level domains ccTLD
  • test top-level domains tTLD
  • generic top-level domains gTLD
  • infrastructure top-level domain ARPA
  • sponsored top-level domains sTLD
  • restricted generic top-level domains grTLD
                                     

2. Delegation and management

IANA is responsible for determining an appropriate trustee for each ccTLD. Administration and control are then delegated to that trustee, which is responsible for the policies and operation of the domain. The current delegation can be determined from IANAs list of ccTLDs. Individual ccTLDs may have varying requirements and fees for registering subdomains. There may be a local-presence requirement for instance, citizenship or other connection to the ccTLD, as, for example, the Canadian ca and German de domains, or registration may be open.

                                     

3. Relation to ISO 3166-1

The IANA is not in the business of deciding what is and what is not a country. The selection of the ISO 3166 list as a basis for country code top-level domain names was made with the knowledge that ISO has a procedure for determining which entities should be and should not be on that list.

                                     

3.1. Relation to ISO 3166-1 Unused ISO 3166-1 codes

Almost all current ISO 3166-1 codes have been assigned and do exist in DNS. However, some of these are effectively unused. In particular, the ccTLDs for the Norwegian dependency Bouvet Island bv and the designation Svalbard and Jan Mayen sj do exist in DNS, but no subdomains have been assigned, and it is Norid policy to not assign any at present. Two French territories - bl Saint Barthelemy and mf Saint Martin - still await local assignment by Frances government.

The code eh, although eligible as ccTLD for Western Sahara, has never been assigned and does not exist in DNS. Only one subdomain is still registered in gb ISO 3166-1 for the United Kingdom, and no new registrations are being accepted for it. Sites in the United Kingdom generally use uk see below.

The former.um ccTLD for the U.S. Minor Outlying Islands was removed in April 2008. Under RFC 1591 rules.um is eligible as a ccTLD on request by the relevant governmental agency and local Internet user community.



                                     

3.2. Relation to ISO 3166-1 ASCII ccTLDs not in ISO 3166-1

Several ASCII ccTLDs are in use that are not ISO 3166-1 two-letter codes. Some of these codes were specified in older versions of the ISO list.

  • eu European Union: On September 25, 2000, ICANN decided to allow the use of any two-letter code in the ISO 3166-1 reserve list that is reserved for all purposes. Only EU currently meets this criterion. Following a decision by the EUs Council of Telecommunications Ministers in March 2002, progress was slow, but a registry named EURid was chosen by the European Commission, and criteria for allocation set: ICANN approved eu as a ccTLD, and it opened for registration on 7 December 2005 for the holders of prior rights. Since 7 April 2006, registration is open to all in the European Economic Area.
  • ac Ascension Island: This code is a vestige of IANAs decision in 1996 to allow the use of codes reserved in the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 reserve list for use by the Universal Postal Union. The decision was later reversed, with Ascension Island now the sole outlier. Three other ccTLDs, gg Guernsey, im Isle of Man and je Jersey also fell under this category from 1996 until they received corresponding ISO 3166 codes in March 2006)
  • uk United Kingdom: The ISO 3166-1 code for the United Kingdom is GB. However, the JANET network had already selected uk as a top-level identifier for its pre-existing Name Registration Scheme, and this was incorporated into the DNS root. gb was assigned with the intention of a transition, but this never occurred and the use of uk is now entrenched.
  • su This obsolete ISO 3166 code for the Soviet Union was assigned when the Soviet Union was still extant; moreover, new su registrations are accepted.
                                     

3.3. Relation to ISO 3166-1 Historical ccTLDs

ccTLDs may be removed if that country ceases to exist. There are three ccTLDs that have been deleted after the corresponding 2-letter code was withdrawn from ISO 3166-1: cs for Czechoslovakia, zr for Zaire and tp for East Timor. There may be a significant delay between withdrawal from ISO 3166-1 and deletion from the DNS; for example, ZR ceased to be an ISO 3166-1 code in 1997, but the zr ccTLD was not deleted until 2001. Other ccTLDs corresponding to obsolete ISO 3166-1 codes have not yet been deleted. In some cases they may never be deleted due to the amount of disruption this would cause for a heavily used ccTLD. In particular, the Soviet Unions ccTLD su remains in use more than twenty years after SU was removed from ISO 3166-1.

The historical country codes dd for the German Democratic Republic and yd for South Yemen were eligible for a ccTLD, but not allocated; see also de and ye.

The temporary reassignment of country code cs Serbia and Montenegro until its split into rs and me Serbia and Montenegro, respectively led to some controversies about the stability of ISO 3166-1 country codes, resulting in a second edition of ISO 3166-1 in 2007 with a guarantee that retired codes will not be reassigned for at least 50 years, and the replacement of RFC 3066 by RFC 4646 for country codes used in language tags in 2006.

The previous ISO 3166-1 code for Yugoslavia, YU, was removed by ISO on 2003-07-23, but the yu ccTLD remained in operation. Finally, after a two-year transition to Serbian rs and Montenegrin me, the.yu domain was phased out in March 2010.

Australia was originally assigned the oz country code, which was later changed to au with the.oz domains moved to.oz.au.



                                     

4. Internationalized ccTLDs

An internationalized country code top-level domain IDN ccTLD is a top-level domain with a specially encoded domain name that is displayed in an end user application, such as a web browser, in its language-native script or alphabet, such as the Arabic alphabet, or a non-alphabetic writing system, such as Chinese characters.中国. IDN ccTLDs are an application of the internationalized domain name IDN system to top-level Internet domains assigned to countries, or independent geographic regions.

ICANN started to accept applications for IDN ccTLDs in November 2009, and installed the first set into the Domain Names System in May 2010. The first set was a group of Arabic names for the countries of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. By May 2010, 21 countries had submitted applications to ICANN, representing 11 languages.

ICANN requires all potential international TLDs to use at least one letter that does not resemble a Latin letter, or have at least three letters, in an effort to avoid IDN homograph attacks. Nor shall the international domain name look like another domain name, even if they have different alphabets. Between Cyrillic and Greek alphabets, for example, this could happen.



                                     

5. Unconventional usage

Lenient registration restrictions on certain ccTLDs have resulted in various domain hacks. Domain names such as I.am, tip.it, start.at and go.to form well-known English phrases, whereas others combine the second-level domain and ccTLD to form one word or one title, creating domains such as blo.gs of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands gs, youtu.be of Belgium be, del.icio.us of the United States us, and cr.yp.to of Tonga to. The.co domain of Colombia has been cited since 2010 as a potential competitor to generic TLDs for commercial use, because it may be an abbreviation for company.

Several ccTLDs allow the creation of emoji domains.

Some ccTLDs may also be used for typosquatting. The domain cm of Cameroon has generated interest due to the possibility that people might miss typing the letter o for sites in the com.

                                     

5.1. Unconventional usage Commercial usage

Some of the worlds smallest countries and non-sovereign or colonial entities with their own country codes have opened their TLDs for worldwide commercial use, some of them free like.tk.