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|Introduced||April 25, 1986|
|TLD type||Country code top-level domain|
|Intended use||Entities connected with the Netherlands|
|Actual use||Very popular in the Netherlands|
|Structure||Registrations are taken directly at the second level|
.nl is the Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for the Netherlands. Registrations are processed via a network of participants. It is one of the more popular ccTLDs, ranked 6th in the quarterly VeriSign Domain Name Industry Brief of September 2016 for the third quarter of 2016, with over 5.6 million registered domain names.
Since January 31, 1996 .nl domains are registered by the Stichting Internet Domeinregistratie Nederland (SIDN, in English: Foundation for Internet Domain Registration Netherlands), based in Arnhem. Most registrars are ISPs, IT service bureaus and media service bureaus, but several large enterprises with many brand names have also become a registrar, or participant as SIDN calls them, which is a quite uncommon phenomenon in the domain name industry. Registrars have to pay SIDN a fee for each domain since April 1, 1996, until then registration was free. SIDN does not deal directly with Registrants. In the early days, most of the registrants were universities and research departments of large companies, such as Philips Natuurkundig Laboratorium.
Official second-level domains do not exist. A number of companies have taken the opportunity to register domains like co.nl and com.nl, using them to sell third-level domains. These are not affiliated with SIDN.
Individuals were allowed to register a second-level .nl domain since 2003. As a forerunner, individuals were allowed to register a third-level domain since 2000. Such 'personal domains' had the form of janjansen.123.nl. They never became popular, and registration has been suspended since 2006. Because there are only around 500 of such domains registered, in contrast to about 5 million second-level domains, SIDN announced the discontinuance of personal domains as of 2008 on July 4, 2007.
Other country-code TLDs under the Kingdom of Netherlands
- .an –CC TLD for the former multi-nation Netherlands Antilles federation
- .aw –CC TLD for Aruba
- .bq –CC TLD for the Caribbean Netherlands (Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba)
- .cw –CC TLD for Curaçao
- .sx –CC TLD for Sint Maarten
- Internet in the Netherlands
- .eu –CC TLD for the European Union
- .frl TLD for the province of Friesland
- (in Dutch) "SIDN: Klacht over domeinnaam". SIDN.nl. Retrieved 2016-10-08.
- "Verisign" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-10-08.
- (in Dutch) "SIDN: Jouw wereld. Ons Domein". Retrieved 2016-10-08.
- (in Dutch) "SIDN: Ons verhaal". Retrieved 2016-10-08.
- (in Dutch) "SIDN: Contact". Retrieved 2016-10-08.
- "Frequently asked questions". Retrieved 2016-10-08.