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".nz" Internet Domain Names Poised To Double

Media Release - 19 June, 2003

.nz Internet Domain Name Registrations Poised To Double

The number of registered .nz domain names is poised to double quickly if current trends continue, says Derek Locke, chief executive of Domainz, New Zealand’s leading .nz domain name registrar.

Currently there are just under 130,000 (and rising) .nz domain names registered, despite recent figures having suggested a likely maximum of 105-110,000.

Derek Locke said the current figure and the growth trend was a surprising given that growth had appeared to plateau and even decline in late 2001/early 02.

“We’d been planning for a market of 105,000 to 110, 000 maximum. But now growth appears to be running unabated,” he said.

Locke cited several reasons for the renewed growth:

- The change to a competitive .nz registry system (Domainz was previously sole registrar and registry) has stimulated the market with many Internet Service Providers becoming domain name registrars and promoting that service to their customers.

- The availability of the second level “. maori” (as opposed to “. co” or “. org” etc) has also stimulated interest and generated new name registrations.

- Growing interest by New Zealanders in communicating both business-wise and domestically, over the Internet.

- Some growth in the overall NZ economy.

Locke said Domainz believed there would be huge growth in the registration of .nz domain names for domestic and personal use. Currently, .co (for “company”) is by far the biggest ‘second level’ in use for .nz names.

“But if teenagers, for example, take to individual domain names even half as enthusiastically as they have to text messaging,” Locke said, “then the increase in registered .nz domain names will be dramatic.”

“. gen (for “general”) is a second level that holds the key to Kiwis using domain names far more widely in a personal and domestic context. Currently only 775 .nz names are .gen whereas 107,523 have .co as their second level.

“Many more have the name of their ISP as their second level - .xtra for example” said Locke. “As more people learn they can have their own personal name using .gen as the second level, so will the number of .nz names increase.

Locke said that in Canada for example, domain names had ‘spiked recently’ from around the same levels as New Zealand, to over 300,000.

“There’s every reason to expect the same will happen here," he said.


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