Country code top-level domain

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A Country Code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) is a two-letter Internet top-level domains (TLDs) specifically designated for a particular country, sovereign state or autonomous territory for use to service their community. ccTLDs are derived from ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country codes.[1]


The implementation of ccTLDs was started by IANA which is not a physical organization or an individual but it is part of ICANN.[2] The delegation and creation of ccTLDs is presented within RFC 1591. In order to determine whether new ccTLDs should be added or not, the IANA follows the provisions of ISO 3166 - Maintenance Agency. More information related to the development of new ccTLDs can be found in IANA's Procedures for Establishing ccTLDs. [3]

IANA's Procedures for ccTLDs

Within its database, IANA contains authoritative information related to ccTLDs, referring to sponsoring organizations, technical and administrative contacts, name servers, registration URLs and other such information. This type of information provides extra details regarding the IANA's procedures for maintaining the ccTLD database.

Delegation and Redelegation

The process through which the designated manager, or managers, is changed is known as redelegation. The latter follows the provisions of ICP-1 and RFC 1591. IANA receives all requests of a sponsoring organization related to delegation and redelegation for the ccTLDs. The requests are then analyzed by IANA based on various technical and public criterion, and finally sent to the ICANN Board of Directors for approval or refusal. If approved, IANA is also responsible for the implementation of the request.[4]

Conceptually speaking, the delegation and redelegation processes are simple, but can easily become complex if there are many organizations and individuals involved in the process. There is a set of steps that must be followed before sending the request for delegation or redelegation. An initial request should be developed based on The Change Request Template and supplementary information to prove that the eligibility criteria has been met by the initial request. All the information supplied is used by IANA to fortify the request received.[4]

ccTLDs and ICANN

The policies developed by ICANN are implemented by gTLD registry operators, ccTLD managers, root-nameserver operators and regional Internet registries. One of the main activities of ICANN is to work with other organizations involved in the technical coordination of the Internet with the purpose of formally documenting their participatory role within the ICANN process. These organizations are committed to the ICANN policies that result from their work.

Starting in 2000, ICANN started cooperating with ccTLD managers to document their relationship. Due to various circumstances such as the type of organization, cultural issues, economics, the legal environment, etc., the relationships between ICANN and ccTLD mangers are often complex. Another consideration is the role of the national government in "managing or establishing policy for their own ccTLD" (role recognized in the June 1998, U.S. Government White Paper).[5]

In 2009, ICANN began the implementation of an IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process,[6] whereby countries that use non-Latin script are able to claim ccTLDs in their native script and the corresponding Latin version. As of early 2011, 33 requests have been received, representing 22 languages.[7] More than half have already been approved.[8]


A pseudo-ccTLD mimics an official country code domain without formal recognition, often used for branding or to suggest geographical affiliation.

Open ccTLDs

Related Article - Open Use ccTLD
An open ccTLD refers to a country code top level domain name that can be registered by anyone, regardless of which country the person resides in. These ccTLDs generally represent a particular branding opportunity aside from the name of the country or territory it represents. Examples include .cc (Cocos Island) for consulting companies, .tv (Tuvalu) for television, .ws (Western Samoa) for websites, and .co (Colombia) as an alternative to .com for companies.[9]

.cc and .tv

Verisign is the registry operator of both .cc and .tv open ccTLDs. eNIC, a subsidiary company of Verisign, manages the operation and marketing of .cc. The company promotes the ccTLD as a good alternative for the .com and .net domain name spaces. The target users for the .cc include entities that, for example, want to develop websites representing a Chinese company, country club, consulting company, chat community, church community, community center, chamber of commerce, or community college.[10], one of the registrars offering .cc, describes the ccTLD as a new international domain name having the same features of the .com and .net, as it is understood by users as an acronym for commercial company, it offers potential business value, and is becoming the latest fashion in domain names, making its value increase.[11]

The .tv ccTLD is currently operated by dotTV, another subsidiary company of Verisign. Domain names using the .tv ccTLD are registered by entities involved in the television, film, and animation industries, as well as individuals providing video contents in their blogs or websites.[12] Internet users understand that a .tv domain name offers video content. In 2006, Demand Media and Verisign partnered to promote the .tv TLD as a preferred web address for media rich content. Richard Rosenblatt, Chairman and CEO of Demand Media, explained that the landscape of Internet media is changing quickly, and many users want to publish and share their own video materials. According to Rosenblatt, "By registering a .tv domain name and adding video content of their choosing, users can program their own channel."[13]


The Colombian Ministry of Information Technology and Communication assigned the management of the .co ccTLD registry to the .CO Internet SAS, a joint venture between Arcelandia SA and Neustar, Inc. Since its launch in February 2010, the .co ccTLD has been marketed by .co Internet as a "new, flexible, and safe global extension" for internet users worldwide.[14]

According to Juan Diego Calle, CEO of .co Internet, the .co TLD will serve as a good alternative for users who are looking for a credible, global and recognizable domain name that is affordable and critical to achieving their online success. He explained that .co is well-known worldwide by Internet users as a short term for corporation or company, and the .co domain name space will provide millions of users the opportunity register their desired domain names to establish their online presence. Calle said that his company is targeting Internet users around the world who have dreams, ideas or contents to share.[15]

.CO Internet SAS is promoting the .co TLD as an easy to remember top level domain representing companies, corporations, communities, content, etc. and searchable, secure, committed, confident, flexible, networked with a growing community.[16] [17]

Some companies use the .co domain space as a branded shortener or in domain hacks, such as with (, Twitter (, Politico (, Venture Hacks (, Google (, etc.[18] Others use it as a URL shortener, such as GoDaddy's[19]

.fm and .am

The .fm and .am ccTLDs are marketed by BRS Media Inc. for use by music, radio, and social media websites. A percentage of the income from .fm registrations goes back to the government and people of the Federated States of Micronesia.[20] .am has also been used in the domain hack[21]


The .ws ccTLD is managed and operated by SamoaNIC,[22] and it is promoting the TLD as a shortened form of Web Site or World Site.[23] The marketing strategy provides users global presence. The marketing program for .ws is carried out by Global Domains International Incorporated.[24]


The ccTLD of Montenegro, .me, has been marketed by DoMEn for use by bloggers, social media users, and socially inclined websites and companies.[25]

Current ccTLDs

The following is a list of the current ccTLDs, including their registry operators and any special notes about registration of the domains.[26][27]

ccTLDEntityRegistry OperatorNotes
.adAndorraAndorra Telecom
.aeUnited Arab EmiratesUAEnic
.agAntigua and BarbudaNic AG
.aiAnguillaGovernment of Anguilla
.alAlbaniaAlbania Electronic and Postal Communications Authority (AKEP)
.amArmeniaISOC.AM (Armenian Branch of ISOC)
.anAntilles (Netherlands)University of the Netherlands AntillesBeing phased out
.aoAngolaFaculdade de Engenharia da Universidade Agostinho Neto
.aqAntarcticaMott and AssociatesAvailable to government organizations who are signatories to the Antarctic Treaty, and other registrants with a local physical presence.
.arArgentinaNIC Argentina
.asAmerican SamoaAS Domain Registry
.auAustraliaauDAABN (Australian Business Number) required
.awArubaSETARRestricted to local companies, organizations, and citizens
.axAland IslandsÅlands Landskapsregeringen
.baBosnia and HerzegovinaUTIC
.bbBarbadosGovernment of Barbados Ministry of Economic Affairs and Development Telecommunications Unit
.bdBangladeshMinistry of Post & Telecommunications Bangladesh Secretariat
.beBelgiumDNS BelgiumAlso unofficially used in Berne, Switzerland
.bfBurkina FasoARCEP
.biBurundiBurundi National Center of Information Technology
.bjBeninOffices des Postes et Telecommunications
.blSaint BarthelemyUnassignedCurrently not in root zone
.bmBermudaRegistry General Ministry of Labour and ImmigrationLocal corporate registration required
.bnBrunei DarussalamJabatan Telekom Brunei
.boBoliviaAgencia para el Desarrollo de la Información de la Sociedad en Bolivia
.bqBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaUnassignedCurrently not in root zone
.brBrazilNIC.brTop level registration is restricted, registration at second level
.bsBahamasThe College of the Bahamas
.btBhutanMinistry of Information and Communications
.bvBouvet IslandUNINETT Norid ASNot in use
.bwBotswanaBotswana Telecommunications Corporation
.byBelarusOpen Contact Ltd.
.bzBelizeUniversity of Belize
.caCanadaCIRASubject to Canadian Presence Requirements
.ccCocos (Keeling) IslandseNIC Cocos Islands Pty. Ltd.Second level domains used in free, public domain service
.cdDemocratic Republic of the CongoCDNIC
.cfCentral African RepublicDot CF
.cgRepublic of CongoONPT Congo and Interpoint Switzerland
.ciCote d'IvoireINP-HB
.ckCook IslandsTelecom Cook Islands Ltd.
.clChileNIC ChileLocal presence required
.cmCameroonCAMTELRestricted to local entities/companies
.cnChinaCNNICRegistration allowed worldwide Internet
.crCosta RicaAcademia Nacional de Ciencias
.cvCape VerdeANAC
.cwCuraçaoUniversity of the Netherlands Antilles
.cxChristmas IslandChristmas Island Internet Administration Ltd.
.cyCyprusUniversity of Cyprus
.czCzech RepublicCZ.NIC
.deGermanyDENICGerman postal address required for administrative contact
.djDjiboutiDjibouti Telecom SA
.dkDenmarkDK Hostmaster
.dmDominicaDotDM Corporation
.doDominican RepublicPontificia Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra Recinto Santo Tomas de Aquino
.eeEstoniaEstonian Internet FoundationEstonian postal address required for administrative contact
.egEgyptEUN Supreme Council of Universities
.ehWestern SaharaUnassignedCurrently not in root zone
.etEthiopiaEthiopian Telecommunications Corporation
.euEuropean UnionEURidRestricted to institutions, companies, and individuals within the European Union
.fiFinlandFICORARegistration is available to everyone all around the world
.fjFijiThe University of the South Pacific IT Services
.fkFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Falkland Islands Government
.fmFederated States of MicronesiaFSM Telecommunications Corporation
.foFaroe IslandsFO Council
.frFranceAFNICFrench presence required
.gaGabonGabon Telecom
.gbUnited KingdomUnassigned, reserved domainOriginally meant to replace .uk
.geGeorgiaCaucasus Online
.gfFrench GuianaNet Plus
.ggGuernseyIsland Networks
.ghGhanaNetwork Computer Systems
.giGibraltarSapphire Networks
.glGreenlandTELE Greenland AS
.gnGuineaCentre National des Sciences Halieutiques de Boussoura
.gpGuadeloupeNetworking Technologies Group
.gqEquatorial GuineaGETESA
.gsSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsGSGSSI
.gtGuatemalaUniversidad del Valle de Guatemala
.guGuamUniversity of Guam Computer Center
.gyGuyanaUniversity of Guyana
.hkHong KongHong Kong Internet Registration Corporation Ltd.
.hmHeard Island and McDonald IslandsHM Domain Registry
.hnHondurasRed de Desarrollo Sostenible Honduras
.htHaitiConsortium FDS/RDDH
.idIndonesiaIDNIC-PPAU Mikroelektronika
.ieIrelandIE Domain Registry LimitedLimited to Irish citizens, Ireland-registered brands and companies, and companies doing business in Ireland
.ilIsraelISOC-IL (Israeli Branch of ISOC)
.imIsle of ManIsle of Man Government
.ioBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryIO Top Level Domain Registry Cable and Wireless
.irIslamic Republic of IranIRNIC
.itItalyIIT - CNRRestricted to companies and individuals within the EU
.jeJerseyIsland Networks
.jmJamaicaUniversity of West Indies
.jpJapanJapan Registry ServicesPhysical address within Japan required
.kgKyrgyzstanAsiaInfo Telecommunications Enterprise
.khCambodiaCambodia Ministry of Post and Telecommunications
.kiKiribatiMinistry of Communications, Transport, and Tourism Development
.kmComorosComores Telecom
.knSaint Kitts and NevisMinistry of Finance, Sustainable Development Information & Technology
.kpDemocratic People's Republic of KoreaStar Joint Venture Company
.krRepublic of KoreaKISA
.kwKuwaitMinistry of Communications
.kyCaymen IslandsThe Information and Communication AuthorityRestricted to qualified Cayman entities
.kzKazakhstanAssociation of IT Companies of Kazakhstan
.laLaosLANICCurrently marketed as an unofficial domain for Los Angeles
.lbLebanonAmerican University of Beirut Computing and Networking Services Restricted to companies within Lebanon
.lcSaint LuciaUniversity of Puerto Rico
.liLiechtensteinUniversitaet Liechtenstein
.lkSri LankaCouncil for Information Technology and LK Domain Registrar
.lrLiberiaData Technology Solutions, Inc.
.lsLesothoNational University of Lesotho
.lyLibyaGeneral Post and Telecommunications Company
.mcMonacoGouvernement de Monaco Direction des Communications Electroniques
.mdRepublic of MoldovaMoldDataMarketed to medical professionals worldwide
.mfSaint MartinUnassignedCurrently not in root zone
.mhMarshall IslandsCabinet Office
.mkMacedoniaMinistry of Foreign RelationsRestricted to companies within Macedonia
.mmMyanmarMinistry of Communications, Posts & Telegraphs
.mnMongoliaDatacom Co., Ltd.
.moMacaoUniversity of Macau
.mpNorthern Mariana IslandsSaipan Datacom
.mrMauritaniaUniversity of Nouakchott
.msMontserratMNI Networks Ltd.
.mtMaltaNIC Malta
.muMauritiusMauritius Network Information Centre
.mwMalawiMalawi SDNP
.mxMexicoNIC Mexico
.myMalaysiaMYNICRestricted to individuals and companies within Malaysia
.mzMozambiqueCentro de Informatica de Universidade Eduardo Mondlane
.naNamibiaNamibian Network Information Centre
.ncNew CaledoniaOffice des Postes et Telecommunications
.nfNorfolk IslandNorfolk Island Data Services
.niNicaraguaUniversidad Nacional del Ingernieria Centro de Computo
.nlNetherlandsStichting Internet Domeinregistratie Nederland (SIDN)Was the first official ccTLD to be assigned
.noNorwayUNINETT Norid ASRestricted to companies in Norway. Individuals may register under the SLD
.npNepalMercantile Communications
.nrNauruCENPAC NETSecond level domain is used as a free domain service
.nuNiueInternetstiftelsen i SverigeUnofficially used as "new" for English language websites and "now" for Danish, Dutch, and Swedish websites.
.nzNew ZealandInternetNZ
.paPanamaUniversidad Tecnologica de Panama
.pePeruRed Cientifica Peruana
.pfFrench PolynesiaMinistère des Postes et Télécommunications
.pgPapua New GuineaPNG DNS Administration
.phPhilippinesPH Domain Foundation
.pmSaint Pierre and MiquelonAFNIC
.pnPitcairnPitcairn Island Administration
.prPuerto RicoGauss Research Laboratory Inc (GRL-INC)
.psPalestinePalestinian National Internet Naming Authority (PNINA)
.pwPalauMicronesia Investment and Development Corporation
.reReunionAFNICRestricted to brand owners in Reunion and to companies with an address in Reunion.
.roRomaniaRomanian Research Network
.rsSerbiaSerbian National Register of Internet Domain Names (RNIDS)
.ruRussiaCoordination Center for TLD RU
.rwRwandaNIC Congo
.saSaudi ArabiaCommunications and Information Technology
.sbSolomon IslandsSolomon Telekom Company
.sdSudanSudan Internet Society
.seSwedenInternetstiftelsen i Sverige
.shSaint HelenaGovernment of St. Helena
.sjSvalbard and Jan MayenUNINETT Norid ASNot in use
.skSlovakiaSK-NICRestricted to Slovakian companies, organizations, and citizens
.slSierra LeoneSierratel
.smSan MarinoTelecom Italia San MarinoDomain name must be same as company name or trademark
.snSenegalUniversite Cheikh Anta Diop
.soSomaliaSONICRelaunched on Novemner 1, 2010
.ssSouth SudanUnassignedCurrently not in root zone
.stSao Tome and PrincipeTecnisys
.suSoviet UnionROSNIIROSBeing phased out in favor of .ru
.svEl SalvadorSVNet
.sxSint MaartenSX Registry
.tcTurks and Caicos IslandsMelrexTC
.tdChadSotel TchadRestricted to entities connected with Chad
.tfFrench Southern TerritoriesAFNIC
.tgTogoC.A.F.E. Informatique et Telecommunications
.tjTajikistanInformation Technology Center
.tkTokelauTeletokUsed as a free public domain service
.tlTimor-LesteMinistry Infrastructure Information and Technology Division Old code, .tp, still also in use
.tmTurkmenistanTM Domain Registry
.tnTunisiaTunisia Telecommunications Agency ATI
.toTongaGovernment of the Kingdom of TongaUnofficially used for torrent, Toronto, and Tokyo
.tpPortuguese TimorUnassignedBeing phased out in favor of .tl used by Northern Cyprus
.ttTrinidad and TobagoUniversity of the West Indies Faculty of Engineering
.tvTuvaluMinistry of Finance and TourismUsed as a abbreviation for television
.twTaiwanTWNICRegistration allowed worldwide
.tzTanzaniaTzNICPresence within Tanzania required
.uaUkraineHostmaster LTD
.ugUgandaCharles Musisi
.ukUnited KingdomNominetUK service address required
.umUnited States Minor Outlying IslandsUnassignedCurrently not in root zone
.usUnited StatesNeuStarCommonly used by US state and local governments instead of .gov
.vaVatican CityInternet Office of the Holy SeeLimited to officials sites of the Vatican/Holy See
.vcSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesMinistry of Telecommunications, Science, Technology and Industry
.vgBritish Virgin IslandsPinebrook Developments Ltd.
.viUS Virgin
.vuVanuatuTelecom Vanuatu Ltd.
.wfWallis and FutunaAFNIC
.wsSamoaGovernment of Samoa Ministry of Foreign Affairs
.zaSouth AfricaZADNA