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Country code top-level domain

(also ccTLD)

Country code top-level domain definition

A country code top-level domain (ccTLD) is the top-level domain reserved for a geographical area identified with a country code (generally a country, sovereign state, or a dependent territory). ccTLDs identifiers are usually composed of two letters — the area’s ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code, also known simply as the country code.

Open vs restricted ccTLDs

ccTLDs are often restricted to entities that have a substantial link to the geographical area, like citizenship or a physical presence. Some ccTLDs, however, have no such requirements, being open to anyone for registration. Open ccTLDs are typically used for branding opportunities — for example, when the country code happens to be a popular acronym (like “TV” or “CC”).

Most popular country code top-level domains

  • .us (United States — the very first ccTLD, registered in 1985).
  • .uk (United Kingdom — registered in 1985).
  • .de (Germany — registered in 1986).
  • .fr (France — registered in 1986).
  • .au (Australia — registered in 1986).
  • .ca (Canada — registered in 1987).
  • .cc (Cocos Islands, registered in 1997. The .cc domain is popular with organizations that use the “CC” abbreviation, like open-source projects that operate under the Creative Commons).
  • .tv (Tuvalu — registered in 1998. Because “TV” is an acronym for television, the .tv domain is popular with television operators).
  • .eu (European Union — registered in 2004).