The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) announced November 22nd, 2012, that it has reached the two million mark for registered .CA Internet domain names. This milestone demonstrates Canadians’ rapidly increasing adoption of .CA domain names for personal and business use: it took 21 years for one million .CA domain names to be registered and just four years to reach the next million. The two million mark is all the more poignant as it comes at the close of the 25th anniversary of the founding of the .CA domain. It was established in 1987 by a group of volunteers at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and transferred to CIRA in 2000. In 1988, the first .CA domain name, upei.ca, was registered by the University of Prince Edward Island.
Interesting CIRA facts
- The .CA registry began in 1987 and was managed for the next 13 years by a group of volunteers at the University of British Columbia led by John Demco, former computing facilities manager for the university’s Department of Computer Science.
- The first .CA domain name was registered by the University of Prince Edward Island on January 12, 1988.
- For the first six months of the .CA registry’s existence, the lack of Internet infrastructure in Canada required that the primary name server be located in the Boston area. But within a year, the server was relocated to UBC, with secondary servers set up in Montreal and Toronto.
- CIRA was incorporated to manage the .CA registry in 1998, and assumed this responsibility in December 2000.
- With nearly two million .CA domain names registered, .CA is the world’s 14th largest ccTLD (Reference: Dr. Matthew Zook, CIRA Report, January – March 2012).
- .CA has the fourth-highest growth rate among all domain registries over the past five years (Reference: Dr. Matthew Zook, ZookNIC Internet Intelligence, 2011).
- .CA continues to grow in popularity among Canadians as a safe and secure choice versus the generic .COM domain. Over the past five years, .CA’s market share of Canadian domain names has climbed from 21 to 29 per cent.
- A recent survey of Canadian Internet users conducted by The Strategic Counsel on behalf of CIRA found that 49 per cent of businesses prefer a .CA domain for their websites, versus 17 per cent who preferred .COM. For personal websites, 54 per cent of Canadians preferred .CA, versus 10 per cent for .COM.
- The Strategic Counsel survey found that proponents of .CA favoured the domain because it was Canadian; it was for a Canadian business, company or organisation; the Registrant was Canadian or lived in Canada; and because it supported greater Canadian recognition, presence and identity.
- The Strategic Counsel survey also found that over 80 per cent of Canadians preferred a .CA domain over a .COM when it came to online banking, shopping and to stay up to date on current events. In fact, the survey found that Canadians prefer to do business with Canadians, with 75 per cent preferring to support Canadian businesses.
- According to McAfee Labs, .CA is one of the world’s safest domains, with a weighted risk ratio of only 0.9 per cent, compared to .COM’s risk ratio of 31.3 per cent.
- A recent study by Ipsos Reid that tracked how many hours citizens of 11 major countries spend online found that Canadians were double the global average at 44 hours per month.
- For the past two years, Canada has placed first on FutureBrand’s Country Brand Index. Having a .CA, and identifying yourself as Canadian, helps you build on this successful brand that is Canada.
- As of the end of 2011, there were 225 million domain names registered globally. Of these, about 60 per cent where generic Top-Level Domain names, or gTLDs, such as the ubiquitous .COM. The
remaining 40 per cent were country-code Top-Level Domain names, or ccTLDs, such as Canada’s .CA, or Australia’s .AU.
- The growth rate of domain names globally has proven to be a fair leading economic indicator. The sharp global economic downturn of 2009 corresponded with a plummet in the growth rate of the domain name industry. During this time, however, .CA continued to grow at a rate of 18 per cent in 2010, and 16 per cent in 2011.