Sponsored top-level domain
A sponsored top-level domain (sTLD) is one of the categories of top-level domains (TLDs) maintained by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) for use in the Domain Name System of the Internet. IANA currently[when?] distinguishes 3 groups of top-level domains:[failed verification][inconsistent] country-code top-level domains (ccTLD), generic top-level domains (gTLD) and infrastructure top-level domain.
A sponsored TLD is a specialized top-level domain that has a sponsor representing a specific community served by the domain. The communities involved are based on ethnic, geographical, professional, technical or other theme concepts proposed by private agencies or organizations that establish and enforce rules restricting the eligibility of registrants to use the TLD.
Generally speaking, a sponsored TLD is a specialized TLD that has a sponsor representing the narrower community that is most affected by the TLD, while an unsponsored TLD operates under policies established by the global Internet community directly through the ICANN process. Many consider '.gov' to be among the most trusted of TLD's. "DotGov claims that while many TLDs are generic, meaning anyone can obtain a domain name, .gov is a sponsored TLD, where the US Government acts as the sponsor for other US-based government organizations. These organizations are the only ones that can obtain a .gov domain."
For example, the .aero TLD is sponsored by SITA, which limits registrations to members of the air transport industry.
|.aero||Members of the air-transport industry||SITA|
|.app||Developer companies, professionals and enthusiast developers|
|.asia||Companies, organisations and individuals in the Asia-Pacific region||DotAsia Organisation|
|.cat||Catalan linguistic and cultural community||Fundació puntCat|
|.coop||Cooperative associations||DotCooperation LLC|
|.dev||Developer companies, professionals and enthusiast developers|
|.edu||Post-secondary institutions accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education||EDUCAUSE|
|.gov||United States Government||General Services Administration|
|.int||Organizations established by international treaties between governments||IANA|
|.jobs||Human resource managers||Society for Human Resource Management|
|.mil||United States Military||DoD Network Information Center|
|.mobi||Providers and consumers of mobile products and services||dotMobi|
|.museum||Museums||Museum Domain Management Association|
|.post||Postal services||Universal Postal Union|
|.tel||For businesses and individuals to publish contact data||Telnic Ltd.|
|.travel||Travel agents, airlines, hoteliers, tourism bureaus, etc.||Tralliance Corporation|
|.xxx||Pornographic sites||ICM Registry|
As of 2015, IANA distinguishes the following groups of top-level domains:
- infrastructure top-level domain (ARPA)
- generic top-level domains (gTLD)
- restricted generic top-level domains (grTLD)
- sponsored top-level domains (sTLD)
- country code top-level domains (ccTLD)
- test top-level domains (tTLD)