The number of top level Internet domain names is set to increase 20 times over in just a few years, according to the US registrar for the .com domain.
Bob Korzeniewski, chief financial officer at Network Solutions, said today that he expects the number of registered unique domain names to increase from seven million to as high as 140 million within three to five years.
Network Solutions is the registrar for .com, .net and .org top level domain names on the Internet. Until recently it held a monopoly over the process, but six companies have been selected to provide competitive services from this month.
While companies had been quick to adopt names in the .com space, the .net and .org domains were undeveloped real estate and were expected to grow especially fast, Korzeniewski told the BancBoston Robertson Stephens international technology and telecoms conference in London.
It has taken four years for Network Solutions to reach one million registrations but just three months to grow from four to five million registrations earlier this year, Korzeniewski said.
The market could eventually consist of as many as 10 million US businesses; 10 million special events; 30 million international businesses; 40 million products and services; and 50 million personal names registrations, he said.
Network Solutions customers must sign a two year contract and the firm is hoping to use add on service offerings to lock them in for the longer term.
These services include a premium priced facility to reserve domain names indefinitely and directory services to provide additional information about registered domain name holders.
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