There are several hierarchies of domain names including top level domain names (TLDs’), Second Level Domain names (SLD’s), third level domain names (3LD’s), etc. The management of the top level domain names are done by the ICANN at the international level. They also provide resolution of disputes at the international level through an arbitrary and simplified process known as ‘UDRP’ (Uniform Domain Resolution Policy) . The TLD’s are the domain name that appears after the last (. ) in the domain name.
For example, in a general domain name such as abc.com, the . com is the TLD. Again, the TLD can be of two types namely, a generic TLD and a country specific TLD. The generic TLD’s include . com, . net, . info, . xxx, . org, . edu, . tv, . res, . mil, . gov, . int, etc. The country specific TLD’s include Top level domain names that are specific to certain countries such as . fr, . eu, . in, . my, . us, etc. For specific top level domain name types, a specific registry would be approved (assigned by the ICANN), to assign, manage and handle any issues that may arise for that TLD .
TLD’s can be again classified as two types depending on the restriction imposed to register and assign, including restricted generic TLD’s and unrestricted generic TLD’s. Restricted generic TLD’s would require certain amount of eligibility to register in the registry. For instance, the TLd . int, requires that the body registering be an international approved organisation such as the WIPO, WHO, etc. No person can register under this TLD without eligibility.
Verisign (an internet registry) would likewise permit registration of telecom organisations to register under the generic TLD . net. Only non-profit organisations, institutions, voluntary organisations, etc, can register under the TLD . org. Organisations that are governmental in nature, can register under the domain name . gov. Unrestricted domain names, do not require eligibility regarding organisation type or geographical location, and any person can register under such domain names without restrictions, on a first come first served basis.
One such domain name is the . com, which accounts for about half of all the domain names registered in the world. People wanting a domain name under the . com TLD, need not demonstrate any eligibility, but can register a particular domain name on a first come first served basis . Many people site that the greater amount of interests by commercial organisations in the . com registry and the offering of registration on a first come first served basis, has created huge conflicts in the domain name allocation.
Country coded top level domain names are assigned domain names based on country specifications. Only if the organisation is located in a certain country or provides business or services to a particular country would it be permitted to use that ccTLD. For instance . uk or . my are TLD’s belonging to the United Kingdom and Malaysia, respectively . The second level domain name is the portion of the domain name that lies before the (. ) of the TLD.
This may include a unique name corresponding to an IP address or may be even suggestive of the geographical location of the business. For instance in abc. net, the second level domain name is abc. On the other hand, abc. uk. org, the second level domain name is . uk, and it suggests the country code. Abc, would then belong to a third level domain name (3LD). The United Kingdom is a country that follows a top-level country coded domain name. For instance, the domain of several organisations in the UK would be abc. org. uk and not abc. uk. org .