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Single-letter second-level domains

Domaining Guide

Single-letter second-level domains

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Single-letter second-level domains are domain names in which the second-level domain consists of only one letter, such as x.org.

Such domains are rare, as on December 1, 1993, IANA explicitly reserved all single letter and single digit second-level domain names in the TLDs .com, .net, and .org. This was done in case the registries for these domains became overloaded. Recently, ICANN has considered auctioning off their domains.

However, the few such domains that were already assigned were not recalled; They were grandfathered in and therefore were not affected by the restrictions that have existed since.

Domain 1993 Owner Current Owner
i.net INet Solutions Ltd Future Media Architects
q.com JG Qwest Communications
q.net Q Net "Q Networks"
x.com Weinstein & DePaolis PayPal
x.org The Open Group The Open Group
z.com HomePage.com Nissan
   

Of the above addresses, as of December 2005 only one, x.org, actually hosts a Web site directly in the single-letter domain in question. Three others redirect to sites in different domains, and one, q.net does not appear to be active for Web use.

Two-letter domain names

Two-letter domain names are also restricted to prevent confusion with country-codes. However, this restriction was enacted long after domain names became popular, so there are many existing registrations in the old top-level domains, though they are prevented in most of the new ones such as .info. Several notable examples are un.org, ba.com, ae.com, sf.net, and tv.com.[1]

In some new TLDs, special exceptions were made to permit two-letter domains for particular purposes; for instance, in the .aero domain the domains are reserved for airlines identified by their two-letter codes, such as aa.aero for American Airlines.

Controversy

With the 2005 announcement that registration of the remaining single-letter names might become available, some companies have begun jockeying into position to claim them by claiming to own trademark rights over single letters used in such a context. U Magazine has gone so far as to re-brand its Web site as "U.com", with a sign, in online logos and captions[1] even though it is not actually at that address; and they have sent an intimidating letter to ICANN attempting to jump the queue for registration of this name.

External links

Whois links


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Domaining Guide, made by MultiMedia | Websites for sale

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.


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