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Milan 2010 T.R.A.F.F.I.C: the .it domain

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At the 2010 Milan T.R.A.F.F.I.C event the first conferences focus on the domain market of Italy, the host country for this first event. Andrea Marchi from Register.it started discussions on the history of the .it domain, discussing old style of registrations and a new model of synchronous registration.

Statistics confirm a constant growth in .it registration, from 150 domains back in 1994 to nearly 1.8 million domains in 2009. In terms of European domain numbers, the .it domain is the fifth European TLD behind .de, .uk, .nl and .eu. The most notable figure is that .de domains number more than 13 million. Compared to European domains, the Netherlands (222), Denmark (187) and Switzerland (177) have a high ratio of registered domains and the population (domains per 1000 inhabitants). For Italian .it domains the ratio is about 30 domains per 1000 people, taking into account overseas registered domains.

Regarding new registrations, more than five billion searches were made in 2009 (or 10,000 a minute), while about 340,000 domains were registered, or one domain every 1.5 minutes. Register says that two thirds of searches to register new domains were requested by names already registered.

Andrea Marchi also reveals a statistic that seems to go against the trend, saying that only 245 .it domain disputes occurred in 2009, of which about 80 percent were for violations of registered brands. The low numbers (which are increasing for cyberquatting) are due to agreements outside of arbitration, but which are still costly and time consuming.

Simone Ferracuti from Sedo also spoke about the ‘secondary market’ which involves small but significant steps in 2009 for .it domains. 126 sales of domains occurred last year which is only one percent of the total volume of Sedo exchanges but four percent in terms of total economic value. They are values which are far from the TLDs at international levels, but they could certainly increase. The top domains of recent years have been Voip.it, sold for 10,000 euros in 2006, investimento.it sold for 12,900 euros in 2008, while in 2009 prestiti.it sold for 194,000 euros and scomessesportive.it for 32,000.

Rick Latona highlighted the fact that in general the greater part of domains bought and sold are for money loans and services, online betting and sex services, reflecting an international trend for TLDs. Locally speaking, it’s particularly interesting to see how citizens have access to EU domains and therefore make purchases and do business around the EU countries. Need for more TLDs with the same name is evident, as domains can be registered in more than one of the various EU nations.

For the moment, most domains being registered are for website use and not for speculative reasons although there are many opportunities to register names as the market has been developing late.

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