Itâs not one of the larger ccTLDs, but the Irish country code top level domain passed the 200,000 registration mark during the first quarter of 2015 the IE Domain Registry (IEDR) announced this week.
The significant milestone was reached during Q1 2015, with a total of 203,217 .ie domain names registered by the end of the quarter.
A comparison of the rate of .ie domain registrations per 1,000 population with national domain registrations in other EU countries, reveals that Ireland ranks joint 15th out of 19 countries, while a large divide also exists between Dublin and some rural counties.
Irelandâs 200,000th .ie domain name was named to mark the release of the first âIEDR .ie Domain Profile Reportâ. The report, which will be published twice yearly, will track, analyse and review the profile of .ie domain names registered over each six-month period.
Key findings included in the report include:
â .ie domain registry tops 200,000 for the first time, with 203,217 by end of Q1 2015;
â 16,992 new .ie domains were registered over the six-month period Q4 2014 to end Q1 2015, which, when taking into account the .ie domains that were deleted or suspended, results in a net increase of 6.207 .ie domains over the period â an increase of 6.4% when annualised.
â The .ie domain registry has grown 26.5% in the last four years, with net new additions increasing by 67% in Q4 2014/Q1 2015 compared with the same period a year earlier;
â Of the 6,207 net additions to the .ie domain registry, a total of 3,794 were registered by Irish businesses. Of this, 2,756 new .ie domains were registered by corporate entities and 1,038 by sole traders over the period;
â Leinster accounts for 69% of all .ie domain names registered in Ireland, of which Dublin accounts for 47%. Munster, Connacht and Ulster follow at 18%, 8% and 5% respectively;
â Dublin, with 69, has the highest rate of .ie domains registered per 1,000 population, followed by Wicklow at 47 and Carlow at 46. Donegal with just 16 per 1,000 has the lowest rate.
â With 44 .ie domains per 1,000 population, Ireland ranks joint 15th with France out of 19 EU States when comparing equivalent rates of national country code domain registrations. Ireland ranks significantly behind the UK at 166 domains per 1,000 population, Denmark at 231 and the Netherlands at 332;
â .ie domains account for almost 50% of the domain market in Ireland, followed by .com at 27%;
Commenting on the publication of the âIEDR .ie Domain Profile Reportâ, David Curtin, Chief Executive of IEDR noted: âReaching the milestone of 200,000 .ie domain names is significant for Ireland.
âThe number marks the extent to which all aspects of Irish life â individuals, communities and businesses â have migrated online. Behind the 200,000 .ie domain names are thousands of Irish-based websites, encompassing all areas of life in Ireland today.
âFor all those with a registered .ie domain name, the registry ensures that the registrantsâ websites are identifiably Irish and that they have a real and substantive connection to Ireland. For businesses this can be a critical marketing and branding tool in promoting their companies.
âThe strong surge in the number of .ie domain names registered is also hugely encouraging. It reflects the wider economic recovery in Ireland and acts as a barometer of the growth in new businesses and in businesses going online to drive sales and expansion.â
Todayâs figures, however, show that Ireland, when compared with other EU countries (joint 15th out of 19), is still playing catch-up in fully embracing online activity and the digital economy following recent broadband improvements.
Strong regional disparities in the numbers registering .ie domain names across Ireland also exist.Â Dublin, unsurprisingly, with 69 registrations per 1,000 population, is well above the national average of 44, while other counties are less than half the national average, such as Donegal at 16 and Longford and Offaly at 19 per 1,000 population.
âOur data suggests that the Government must accelerate broadband and other SME digital initiatives not just to get communities and businesses online, but to increase their awareness of the value of owning and managing digital assets, including their own domain names,â added Curtin.
The report is available to download hereÂ and you can viewÂ an infographic with some key statistics here.