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The First and Most Successful New gTLD

History of .INFO

The explosive growth of the Internet has brought incredible opportunities to the world. That growth has also brought challenges. Those challenges include a high demand for domain names, and a need for more space on the Internet where individuals, businesses, and organizations around the world can create and share information. For example, by 2012 there were over 100 million registered .COM names in existence, making it difficult for anyone to find and register new short, intuitive names. .INFO was created to satisfy the need for new, global domain names, and Afilias was granted the privilege of fostering .INFO's use as a worldwide means of information exchange. Here's our story so far.

November 16, 2000 — After reviewing bids from scores of applicants, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) awards Afilias the right to operate .INFO, the world's first new, unrestricted top-level domain.

May 15, 2001 — Afilias and ICANN complete their contract.

June 27, 2001 — The U.S. Department of Commerce enters the .INFO TLD into the domain name system root zone. This enables .INFO domain names and Websites to become live and accessible through Internet browsers. The first (and for a time, only) .INFO Website in the world is http://www.afilias.info/.

July 25, 2001 — Afilias begins its rollout of the .INFO domain with the first new TLD Sunrise Period ever run, during which trademark holders can register their trademarks and service marks. The Sunrise Period ends on August 27, 2001.

September 30, 2001 — Afilias announces the result of Start-up name request processing. In this "land rush," Afilias awarded approximately 300,000 domain names to users around the world. Start-up names with name server information begin to resolve immediately.

October 1, 2001 — The .INFO registry moves into real-time registration. Tens of thousands of new domain names are registered in the first day.

October 23, 2001 — Afilias announces that more than 500,000 .INFO names have been registered. That total passes 600,000 in early November 2001.

March 26, 2002 — As the .INFO domain continues to grow to over 800,000 names registered, Afilias announces its agreement with domain name registrar Tucows, Inc. to purchase Liberty Registry Management Services, which has been providing back-end registry services since the launch of .INFO. Bringing its back-end technology in-house makes Afilias a fully integrated registry services provider.

November 17, 2002 — Afilias announces that .INFO has reached more than one million registrations. The one-millionth name is los-angeles-real-estate-search.info.

March 17, 2004 — Afilias launches German umlaut Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) for .INFO.

September 27, 2004 — Afilias announces a three year analysis of the development of the .INFO domain. The report is available for download to the right.

September 22, 2006 — Afilias announces the .INFO Awards program in conjunction with Internet World Business in Germany which will award over 18,000 EURO in prize money. The award program receives over 300 entries.

November 30, 2006 — .INFO Awards are presented to the winners, celebrating .INFO's 5 year anniversary. The winners include AGEV.info in first place, outdoorland.info in second place and austria.info as the place winner.

March 20, 2007 — Afilias announces that .INFO has crossed over 4 million registrations. The report is available for download to the right.

July 19, 2007 — Sedo announces the highest .INFO aftermarket sale to date. Travel.info is sold for US$116,000.

January 21, 2008 — Afilias announces that Spanish IDNs are now available for .INFO.

January 28, 2008 — Afilias announces that it has been elected to serve on the Steering Committee of the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG), the global industry and law enforcement association focused on eliminating identity theft and fraud perpetrated online through phishing, spamming, and crimeware.

March 17, 2008 — Afilias announces the opening of its .INFO Awards program in conjunction with Internet World Business in Germany.

May 12, 2008 — Afilias launches www.info.info where domain name registrars and Internet users can get information about the .INFO domain.

October 7, 2008 — Afilias announces a new Anti-Abuse registration policy that makes the nature of domain name abuses clear for registrants and registrars, and furthers the power of the registry to take quick and appropriate action regarding .INFO domains used for abusive behavior.

October 23, 2008 — Afilias announces its membership with the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), which increases Afilias’ ability to be proactive in eliminating child sexual abuse content from the .INFO domain.

April 22, 2009 — .INFO Joins Facebook and Twitter! The .INFO Facebook group keeps .INFO Fans up to date with .INFO news and statistics, photos of spotlight .INFO sites, and other features. Everyone can also follow Afilias’ news on Twitter, including updates on the .INFO domain.

April 28, 2009 — Afilias announces that it has joined the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG) as part of its ongoing domain name anti-abuse efforts, inlcuding .INFO. Afilias is the first domain name registry operator to become a member.

October 7, 2009 — Afilias opens the 2009 Awards, which recognize the best .INFO Sites and offers over US$15,000 in rewards to the winners. A panel of Web and media industry experts picked the top 10 entries that were then judged by the public.

November 9, 2009 — Afilias announces the results of its 2009 .INFO Awards program which rewards the best .INFO websites around the globe. First place was awarded to thueringen.info and second place was awarded to gps-tour.info.

November 8, 2010 — Afilias announces the results of its 2010 .INFO Awards program which rewards the best .INFO websites around the globe. First place was awarded to greentravelclub.info (today known as ecohotelscertified.info) and second place was awarded to glutenfreehelp.info.

December 7, 2010 — Afilias releases 2010 .INFO domain report, which saw .INFO growing nearly 30 percent from 2009 to more than 6.8 million domain names registered.

December 6, 2011 — Voting opens for the 2011 .INFO Awards program. The winners, announced on December 15, 2011, include first-place contestant trafalgarsquare.info. Second place was awarded to typografie.info and the third-place site was frauenundhiv.info, a German website for women interested in learning more about or living with HIV/AIDS.

February 28, 2012 — Retailer Overstock.com launches a special consumer portal using .INFO domain O.info.

July 12, 2012 — “2012 .INFO Summer Spotting Contest” launches, giving Internet users an incentive to search out and send in .INFO sites used in advertising. The winning entry was a photo of a spaintiles.info advertisement that was found in an architecture magazine.

July 13, 2012 — Afilias announces its participation in a campaign called TextFreeRoads.info to help stop texting while driving. To build awareness of the issue, Afilias worked with ClearChannel Outdoor and Circle Graphics to create "TextFreeRoads.info" billboards across the USA.

December 14, 2012 — Afilias begins to reallocate, through auction and other methods, selected .INFO domains that were claimed during the .INFO Sunrise Period, but were later found to be ineligible under Sunrise rules.

December 31, 2012 — The count of accredited .INFO registrars increased from 398 registrars in 2010 to 427 at the end of 2012, showing that interest in the .INFO domain continues to grow steadily.