Germany has registered its 10 millionth domain name, making the .de top-level domain the second largest in the world following dotcom.
The lucky registrant was huettenberger-case-fabrik.de - unwittingly demonstrating the scarsity of .de domain names - and was taken by a transport case maker from Linden, just outside Frankfurt, the company that runs the German registry, Denic, announced.
"The registration of the ten millionth .de domain represents a major success for Denic," said Sabine Dolderer, a member of Denic's executive board who is in Marrakech this week at the ICANN conference. "It also shows that the organisation of .de as a self-regulated initiative has worked out well. Thanks to Denic's open structure in which restrictions have been kept down to the strictly necessary minimum, a highly diverse provider market has been able to develop."
The news comes just a month after the UK's own Nominet announced it had hit the five million domain milestone, making it the fourth largest registry in the world, below .net.
It is also expecially relevant at the moment thanks to the Internet community's increasingly impatience with US dominance of the Internet infrastructure. A battle over what information on domain name owners should be made public has become a battle between competing US interests that has dragged in the rest of the world. A fight is also going on between governments over what input they are allowed into the ICANN process - something currently dominated by a behind-the-scenes US Department of Commerce. And a large number of organisations across the world are complaining about what they see as unnecessary delays by ICANN - a US private company - in putting non-Western alphabet domain names into the Internet root.
With five of the top ten Internet sites in the world written in either Japanese or Chinese, and with the German registry second only to dotcom, the international flavour of the Internet has never been greater.®