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Internet

Domain names bounce back

Is it the end of the domain-name drain? The total number of .com, .net and .org sites out on the Net grows, reversing a nearly yearlong decline.

    The number of domain names increased in July, reversing a nearly yearlong decline.

    According to the Zooknic Internet Geography Project, a research venture that examines Internet use, the total amount of .com, .net and .org domain names grew by 128,874 in July. The tally of domain names had been declining since September, prompted in part by a poor economy, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the expiration of some names that had been nabbed by Web speculators.

    The total sum of domain names in June was just 27.1 million, off an October 2001 record of 30.7 million. But the numbers appear to be on the upswing.

    The report also found that major registrars, including VeriSign and Register.com, are stemming the domain-name drain. VeriSign has lost more than 4 million names since the beginning of the year, but Zooknic said those losses are declining and approaching zero. Register.com seems to be reversing its losses, according to Zooknic.

    The trend toward more domain names is echoed in a report to be released late Wednesday by SnapNames, a company that monitors domain names so people can buy them when they expire.

    An increase in domain-name registrations is welcome news for registrars, especially VeriSign, which has relinquished its one-time monopoly on .org and .com domains to competing companies.