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TLD to be removed from the DNS next week

The DNS has been growing by, on average 1.1 top-level domains per day for the last 18 months or so, but that trajectory is set to change briefly next week when a TLD is removed.

The ccTLD .an, which represented the former Netherlands Antilles territories, is expected to be retired on July 31, according to published correspondence between ICANN and the Dutch government.

Three territories making up the former Dutch colony — Sint Maarten, CuraƧao, and Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba — gained autonomy in 2010, qualifying them for their own ccTLDs.

They were granted .sx, .cw and .bq respectively. While the first two are live, .bq has not yet been delegated, though the Dutch government says it is close to a deal with a registry.

The Dutch had asked ICANN/IANA for a second extension to the removal deadline, to October 31, but this request was either turned down or retracted after talks at the ICANN Buenos Aires meeting.

Only about 20 registrants are still using .an, according to ICANN.

The large majority of .an names still showing up in Google redirect to other sites in .nl, .com, .sx or .cw.

.an is the second ccTLD to face removal this year after .tp, which represented Portuguese Timor, the nation now known as East Timor or Timor Leste (.tl).

Toilet Paper Test not to blame as .tp faces deletion

Kevin Murphy, February 3, 2015, Domain Registries

The DNS root zone file is set to shrink, albeit only temporarily, with ICANN planning to delete the redundant ccTLD .tp in the coming weeks.

ICANN’s board of directors plans to vote on “Removal of the .TP top-level domain representing Portuguese Timor” on February 12. It’s on the consensus agenda, meaning there won’t be any detailed discussion of the motion.

The ccTLD has an interesting history.

When Jon Postel and the original DNS pioneers decided to use the UN’s ISO 3166 list as the official reference point for ccTLD codes, the country known as East Timor, at the time under Indonesian occupation, was officially only recognized as Portuguese Timor, its old colonial name.

Thus, in 1997, .tp was delegated to represent East Timor.

After an independent East Timor was formally recognized as a sovereign state by Indonesia and the international community, it was assigned the TL code by ISO 3166 in 2002.

IANA/ICANN delegated .tl to the East Timor government in 2005, and shortly thereafter the .tp registry stopped accepting new registrations, migrating existing .tp domains to the new ccTLD.

Now, it seems .tp is finally set to be removed from the root entirely.

While .tp was managed by an Irish company, the administrative contact was originally listed as Xanana Gusmao — at the time a senior resistance fighter serving a life sentence in an Indonesian jail.

Gusmao, who is still listed as .tp’s admin contact, went on to be East Timor’s first president from 2002 to 2007. Since 2007, he’s been the country’s prime minister.