Country code top-level domain
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.
The implementation of ccTLDs was started by IANA. 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. 
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 know as redelegation. The process 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.
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.
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).
In 2009, ICANN began the implementation of an IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process, 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. More than half have already been approved.
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.
.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 who want to develop website representing a Chinese company, country club, consulting company, chat community, church community, community center, chamber of commerce, or community college.
TodayISP.com, 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.
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. 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."
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.
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.
.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. 
Some companies use the .co domain space as a branded shortener or in domain hacks, such as with Overstock.com (O.co), Twitter (T.co), Politico (politi.co), Venture Hacks (vh.co), Google (g.co), etc. Others use it as a URL shortener, such as GoDaddy's x.co.
.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. .am has also been used in the domain hack instagr.am.
The .ws ccTLD is managed and operated by SamoaNIC, and it is promoting the TLD as a shortened form of Web Site or World Site. The marketing strategy provides users global presence. The marketing program for .ws is carried out by Global Domains International Incorporated.
- ICANN ccTLDs
- IANA ccTLD
- Delegation and Redelegation Guide
- ICANN ccTLDs
- IDN News
- Registrations in Open ccTLDs
- .CC Domain Names - Unique Names for Niche Markets
- What Is .CC Domain?
- About .tv
- VeriSign and Demand Media to Promote .tv Domain Names
- '.co' extension is launched
- Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About .CO; Our Exclusive Interview With The CEO Juan Calle
- About .co
- Benefits of .Co
- Many uses of .co
- URL Shortener
- Wikipedia .fm
- Wikipedia .am
- All About TLD
- For Countries That own Shorter Web Site Suffixes Extra Cash, Kozmedia.com
- IANA Root Zone Database
- Wikipedia: List of Internet to-level domains