What are domain
  InterNIC and NSI
  Conflict Resolution


  US Green Paper


  About the group

Every computer connected to the Internet is identified by a series of numbers called an IP (Internet Protocol) address. The IP addresses are of the form -- divided into four numbers, where each number is between 0 and 255. Each connected computer receives a unique IP address so information can be forwarded to the correct computer. Besides these IP addresses, computer can also be assigned "domain names" such as or Most Internet users find it much simpler to remember the domain name for a site than the IP address, so domain names are the preferred way to specify a computer. Domain names, like IP addresses, must be unique so information can reach the desired computer. If two sites had the domain name then computers routing the information through the Internet would not know where to send their messages.

What do the endings of domain names (.com, .edu, .org, .gov, .net) mean?

  • .com  for businesses and commercial sites
  • .edu  for four year colleges and universities
  • .org  for non-profit organizations
  • .net  for sites that emphasize data networking typically for the Internet
  • .gov  for government related sites

Most Internet users are probably most familiar with the .com ending because of the increasingly commercial nature of the Internet. In July 1996, Network Solutions (see our page on InterNIC and NSI) had r egistered over 400,000 .com domain names and was receiving 50,000 applications for .com domain names each month. The .com domain now accounts for 90% of all domain names register ed.

What is the World Wide Web (WWW)?

The World Wide Web is a recent development to the Internet that has greatly simplified electronic communication. With the use of graphically oriented software, users can point and click to reach desired sites and information. The World Wide Web has made it possible for the average user to take advantage of the Internet. These new users have added to the commercial appeal of the Internet which has led to the increase on business-related sites and, subsequently, an increase in competition for domain names . The development of the Web has produced a tremendous boom in Internet usage, which has brought most of the ethical issues involving the Internet into the public view.