Austria’s Internet Celebrating Combined 80th Birthday

Austria’s internet is celebrating a combined number of birthdays in 2018, all adding up to an 80th birthday celebration: 10 years of, 20 years of Stopline, 20 years of and 30 years of .at!

In the latest nic//report, the regular report on .at domain name issues, they chart the 30 years of .at. There’s an interview with Dr Peter Rastl, long-time head of the Vienna University Computer Center, who had the initial responsibility for allocating .at domain names. Initially .at domain names were given away for free, one per organisation. But as the popularity of the internet, and domain names, grew, the burden on the university became too much. Fees were introduced, ISPA, representing internet service providers in Austria, together with the university, decided to professionalise domain name registration and was born in 1998.

In the same year was born, Stopline was also born. Stopline is an independent initiative set up by the ISPA to combat illegal content online, after images of child abuse were discovered on the server of an Austrian host provider. ISPA (then newly founded),, representatives of the police reporting centres, legal experts and other national stakeholders were involved in establishing Stopline. The challenge at the time was to raise awareness of illegal content online and publicise the existence of the new reporting centre without demonising the Internet as a whole.

Then 10 years later, and 10 years ago, with the goal of making the internet in Austria more secure, as the primary contact point for IT-security in a national context.

When it comes to domain names, the number of domain names registered under Austria’s country code top level domain (ccTLD) within the country is closing in on the one million mark with 936,857 – 72.6 % of all .at domains out there as of 31 July. Every district within the country, even those tiny places with populations of below 70, has at least one .at domain name.

The remaining 27% of .at domain name registrants are in Germany (18%) while 1 in 11 (9%) domain names are registered in non-German speaking countries.

The province with the most .at domains per 1,000 inhabitants is Vienna with 148.8 per 1,000, followed by Salzburg (124.9) and Tirol (102.2), while the province of Burgenland brings up the rear with 73.5. But a look at capitals shows the capital of Burgenland, Eisenstadt, is out ahead with one in six people in the city owning an .at domain – putting it ahead of Vienna and Salzburg. Bregenz in Voralberg is the provincial capital with the least domain names (97 per 1,000 people).

To download the latest nic//report from, click here [pdf].