The differences in the magnitude of registrations under each gTLD and ccTLD are related to a 
number of factors. For ccTLDs the historical factors involved include the pace of Internet development in 
any given country. In addition, some ccTLDs are regarded as being more open in the conditions they apply 
to the registration of domain names. For example, 
 which is a ccTLD corresponding to Germany has a 
relatively open policy for its registration. As a result, 
 had 6.9 million registrations as of December 2003, 
which is the largest number of registrations among OECD ccTLDs. On a per capita basis the highest 
number of registrations under ccTLDs are in Denmark, Germany, the United Kingdom and Switzerland 
Figure 1
The position of countries is not an indicator of relative performance. Some ccTLDs limit registrations 
to users with a presence in that country and limit the number of registrations per entity. These practices are 
designed to limit speculation, cyber squatting or to give the ccTLD a distinctive national presence rather 
than trying to maximise the number of registrations. Historically, some ccTLDs had policies that meant 
users simply preferred gTLDs. Prior to 2002, for example, the 
 domain did not have a structure as 
attractive as gTLDs even though 
 domains were available at a much lower price. On the other hand, 
some registries charge prices that are uncompetitive in respect to those available for gTLDs. The monopoly 
which registries have over registrations under each ccTLD, may be one reason for high prices. In most 
OECD countries industry self regulation applies but in a small number of cases the communications 
regulator plays a role.
Some entities responsible for ccTLDs have introduced changes in recent years to promote the use of 
their ccTLD. In the United States the 
 domain opened up second level registration possibilities, in April 
2002, enabling users to register names without reference to locality. In France, in May 2004, AFNIC 
liberalised the requirements for obtaining a 
 domain name to encourage broader take up of that domain.
Changes such as these should mean an increased ability for ccTLDs to compete against gTLDs in their 
`home markets'. 
Table 2.  The number of domain name registrations of major gTLDs and ccTLDs of OECD countries 
from 2000 to 2003 
major gTLDs 
July 2000 
24 183 837 
17 476 025 
6 707 812 
July 2002 
45 715 846 
30 731 874 
14 983 972 
December 2003 
56 588 888 
36 851 022 
19 737 866 
: Major gTLDs are .com, .net, .org, .info, .biz and .name 
: OECD, based on Registries Monthly Reports. 



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