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April 24 is A Big Day in .US History - The 20th Anniversary of When the Domain Opened to ALL Americans 

By Ron Jackson

There are two big dates in the history of .US, the United States of America's official country code top level domain (ccTLD).  The first was February 15, 1985 - the day that .US was added to the Internet as the world's first ccTLD. Unfortunately, when .US debuted it was only available to a few segments of American society - reserved for government, law enforcement, schools and a handful of other special uses. It took more than 17 years for that to change, with ALL American citizens, as well as others who do business in or with Americans, finally being able to register .US domains when the registry finally open the doors completely on April 24, 2002 - exactly 20 years ago today.

Publicity about that event is actually how I learned about the domain business in the first place. At the time I was looking for a 

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couple of domains for a new business idea and found the ones I was interested in already taken in .com. So, when I saw the news about .US opening, I happily registered the names in my country's own TLD and have been buying and selling them ever since.

 It is regrettable that for 17 years, while   citizens in other countries  like the Germany (.de), the United Kingdom (.uk), France (.fr), Australia (.au) and about 300 others, flocked to their local TLDs - the vast majority of Americans could not do the same. While that situation gave other TLDs a gigantic head start, recognition for .US has grown steadily over the past couple of years. One big factor was the global pandemic putting the Zoom.us teleconferencing service in front of millions of people around the world on a daily basis.

Since the pandemic began was we have seen our aftermarket .US sales multiply dramatically and new .US registrations are performing far better than the overall ccTLD market. The latest Verisign Domain Name Industry Brief released last week shows the number of ccTLDs registered worldwide had dropped 4% in 2021 compared to 2020. A big zone reduction in China's .cn accounted for all of that drop and then some and when taken out of the mix, the rest of the world's ccTLDs cumulatively grew by 3.8%. That is a very solid number, but as we reported earlier this month, the number of .US registrations grew by double that percentage rate, 7.75% in just the nine months since we launched ADN July 4, 2021 and started tracking the numbers. 

All of that makes the 20th Anniversary of the opening of .US to ALL Americans and especially happy holiday to celebrate for those who love our nation's internet address.  

Posted April 24, 2022. Permalink for this story: 
https://www.adn.us/news-views/2022/0424.htm
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