top-level domain

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Related to Top-level domains: gTLD

top-level domain

(networking)
The last and most significant component of an Internet fully qualified domain name, the part after the last ".". For example, host wombat.doc.ic.ac.uk is in top-level domain "uk" (for United Kingdom).

Every other country has its own top-level domain, including ".us" for the U.S.A. Within the .us domain, there are subdomains for the fifty states, each generally with a name identical to the state's postal abbreviation. These are rarely used however. Within the .uk domain, there is a .ac.uk subdomain for academic sites and a .co.uk domain for commercial ones. Other top-level domains may be divided up in similar ways.

In the US and some other countries, the following top-level domains are used much more widely than the country code:

.com - commercial bodies .edu - educational institutions .gov - U. S. government .mil - U. S. armed services .net - network operators .org - other organisations

Since the rapid commercialisation of the Internet in the 1990s the ".com" domain has become particularly heavily populated with every company trying to register its company name as a subdomain of .com, e.g. "netscape.com" so as to make it easy for customers to guess or remember the URL of the comany's home page.

United Nations entities use the domain names of the countries where they are located. The UN headquarters facility in New York City, for example, is un.org.

Several new top-level domains are about to be added (Oct 1997): .nom - individual people .rec - recreational organisations .firm - businesses such as law, accounting, engineering .store - commercial retail companies .ent - entertainment facilities and organisations
References in periodicals archive ?
Over the years, there have been various efforts to expand the number of top-level domains available.
The 15 generic top-level domains contain more than 46 million domain-name registrations.
We had hoped that through our hearings and our discussions with [ICANN] about trying to protect kids, that they would have moved on this in their most recent awarding of top-level domains," Shimkus says.
Last year ICANN allowed registry companies to apply for new top-level domains.
These new top-level domains will be available from a variety of authorized companies around the world, called registrars.
We want our customers and people on the Internet to know that our top-level domains are safe and secure," said Antony Van Couvering, CEO of TLDH.
Before announcing the latest assortment of top-level domains, ICANN required organizations applying to run new dot-somethings to pay a hefty $50,000 fee just to be considered.
TELECOMWORLDWIRE-16 November 2000-SITA reports widespread support for 'dot-air' top-level domain proposal (C)1994-2000 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD http://www.
coop, an Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ("ICANN") generic top-level domain ("TLD").
Critics of the plan, such as Mikki Barry of the Domain Name Rights Coalition, a nonprofit that lobbies for fair and open domain name practices, point out that the USPS has no relevant expertise in the area of top-level domain administration and argue that it would likely bungle the job.
ORG domain, which has come to be associated with noncommercial activities, is the Internet's third largest "generic" or non-country specific top-level domain with more than 4 million domain names registered worldwide.
Its industry leading, non-BIND based Managed DNS Service(TM) already handles DNS resolutions for several generic top-level domains (gTLDs) and several country code top-level domains (ccTLDs), including .