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The domain name com is a top-level domain (TLD) in the Domain Name System of the Internet. 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 arpa. It has grown into the largest top-level domain.

.com is one of the first TLDs to be used on the Internet's Domain Name System; it was originally intended for commercial purposes, though there are no current restrictions limiting it to commercial entities. It was introduced in 1985 by IANA, which is responsible for the overall coordination and management of the DNS; the organization was led by Jon Postel at the time. On January 28, 1986, the entities overseeing the DNS met and restructured its makeup to correspond to 8 TLDs, including .com, the others are: .gov (government), .edu (American higher education), .mil (American military), .org (organization), .int (international, specifically NATO relations), .net (sites related to the Internet itself), .bitnet (computers on the BITNET network).

.com is the most popular gTLD with more than 100 million registrants worldwide. The global demand for the .com gTLD remains strong as the number of global Internet users continues to grow. Verisign is the registry operator of the .com gTLD, and was approved by ICANN in 2006.

In October 2011, Verisign's registry passed the 100 million mark for number of .com domains under management. By the end of quarter 2 of 2012, Verisign had 240 million domain names over all of the TLDs it operates, with .com and .net holding 49% of the TLD market share, a drop of 2% from quarter 1.

Verisign has been running .com and .net with 100% operational accuracy and stability for more than 15 years.

.Com History

The .com gTLD, along with the other original TLDs, was first administered by the United States Department of Defense under the Defense Advance Advance Research Project Agency, which was first implemented in 1985. The Network Information Center, which was run by SRI International, was the first assigned registrar and administrator of the first domain names.[8] NIC was responsible for registering and hosting the domain names,[9] as well as administering the IP addresses.[10]

On October 1, 1991, the administration of the .com and all the TLDs was transfered to Government Systems, Inc..[11] It assumed all of SRI's service responsibilities, such as domain name registration, online informations services and help desk operations, as well as RFC and Internet-Draft archive and distribution services. The Internet registration services were provided by Defense Information System Agency (DISA) NIC, which was also operated by Government Systems Inc.[11] This task was sub-contracted by GSI to Network Solutions (NSI).

The legislation of the Scientific and Advanced Technology Act in 1992 gave an expanded mandate to the National Science Foundation (NSF). This is a statutory body, which supports and strengthens basic scientific research, engineering, and educational activities in the United States, including the maintenance of computer networks used to connect research and educational institutions. It assumed the responsibility of coordinating and funding the management of the non-military portion of Internet infrastructure, pursuant to the High-Performance Computing Act which was legislated on December 9, 1991.

In 1993, NSF and NSI entered a five-year cooperative agreement, which appointed NSI as the sole provider of domain name registrations for the .com, .net, and .org gTLDs.[12] In 2000, Network Solutions was acquired by Verisign,[13] which retained NSI's registry business.

Verisign is the current registry operator of the .com gTLD.[14]

.com Boom

The first .com registration was for Symbolics.com on March 15, 1985. Two-and-a-half years later, there were still only 100 names registered in .com. In 1992, there were less than 15,000 .coms, and the million-domain mark was crossed in 1997; however, the following two years were known as the ".com boom", when about 20 million domains were registered. This was an exciting but also turbulent time, as many domainers believed the best way to make money was through newfound methods of trademark infringement, known as cybersquatting. Processes to reverse and punish registrations made by third-party registrants not associated with a person or trademark that is referenced in the domain were eventually developed, such as the UDRP. An early and well-known dispute over a domain includes the legal battle over madonna.com between the famous performer and an unassociated web-developer.[15] The boom eventually leveled off, though steady growth in the .com namespace continued. Some believe that the .com boom initiated the era of scarcity for quality .com names, and fueled the high-value aftermarket for domain names, but domains for currently popular websites, such as youtube.com and twitter.com, were registered years after the boom ended.[16]

25 Years of .com

An informational video on the growth of the Internet since .com was introduced, produced in 2010:

Verisign had a number of events, forums, contests and awards planned for the 25th anniversary of .com in 2010. These included awards to 25 people and companies recognized for influencing the .com namespace and the Internet as a whole, and a Washington D.C.-based Policy Impact Forum featuring Bill Clinton, Rod Beckstrom, Arianna Huffington, Ken Silva, and others. Verisign unveiled details for four $75,000 research grants at its San Francisco event, which also featured then CEO Mark McLaughlin and ICANN Chairman Peter Dengate Thrush.[17]

Registry Agreement

The dropping of the aforementioned litigation between Verisign and ICANN cleared the way for the renewal of the .com registry agreement from 2005 through 2012.[18] The agreement and its appendices can be viewed via the ICANN site here.

In March 2012, ICANN posted a proposal for Verisign's potential renewal of the 2006 .com registry agreement.[19] Three months later, in June 2012, the ICANN Board went against community suggestions to approve Verisign's .com registry agreement for an additional seven years after its expiration on November 30th, 2012. According to the ICANN decision, Verisign would've also been allowed to increase its registry fee by 7% in four out of the next seven years,[20] but this decision was changed by the Department of Commerce. Nonetheless, the new policy will result in Verisign paying ICANN a $0.25 fee for every .com registration, renewal, or transfer, instead of the lump sums it paid previously, potentially netting ICANN an additional $8 million in revenue annually.[21][22] The original board resolutions can be viewed here.

In August 2012, three of ICANN's Constituencies (ALAC, GNSO Business Constituency, GNSO Intellectual Property Constituency) sent a letter to ICANN complaining that the organization held its renewal talks with Verisign behind closed doors and the result is that there are no Thick Whois requirements for the .com TLD.[23] The decision could not move forward without approval from the Department of Commerce, which Verisign received on November 29th, 2012.[22][24]

Verisign is to serve as the registry operator for .com from December 2012 through November 2018, with new terms and conditions, including:

  • Verisign's current pricing of $7.85 per domain name registration will remain unchanged for the next six years;
  • Verisign no longer holds the right to increasing prices up to seven percent over the six-year term, and all new price increases will be circumstantial and subject to Commerce Department approval.[24]

Those who benefit most from the prize freeze include consumers, those who purchase .com domain names in bulk, brand owners who maintain expensive defensive registrations, and registrars who no longer need to pass on cost increases to their consumers.[25]

"Consumers will benefit from Verisign's removal of the automatic price increases," said Larry Strickling of NTIA. "At the same time, the agreement protects the security and stability of the Internet by allowing Verisign to take cost-based price increases where justified."[26]

If ICANN's new gTLD program becomes successful and "market power" is removed from .com's, Verisign believes that all price caps on .com's could be lifted as early as 2014.[27]

Domain naming tips

3 basic tips when selecting the right domain name for your website.

Using a local top level domain

If it’s a local business and you want more customers, why not take a look at our domains which are given according to the location you require (.lt , .co.uk, .nyc, .berlin).

Avoid numbers

Avoid the usage of numbers because the people who hear about your website will be having a tough time figuring out if the website contains the number (2) or the number in words (two).

Avoid symbols

Hyphens and dashes will make things complicated and it doesn’t look professional.

.com Registrar Details

.COM Domain Name
VeriSign, Inc.
12061 Bluemont Way
Reston, VA 20190
+1 703 948 3200
info@verisign grs.com
Registry Website
Register .com Renew .com Transfer .com
$10.80 USD $10.80 USD $8.00 USD