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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 distinguishes 3 groups of top-level domains: (1) 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. (2)

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 (IT company)
.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
.edu US Institutions of higher?? educationEducause
.gov US Governmental entities General Services Administration
.int International treaty-based organisations Internet Assigned Numbers Authority
.jobs Human resource managers Society for Human Resource Management
.mil US Military entities General Services Administration
.museumMuseums 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

ICANN only applied the term sponsored TLD to TLDs in the first two rounds of new [[gTLD]]s. It did not use the distinction between sponsored and unsponsored for new gTLDs in the 2012 round. (3)


Top-level domain Types

As of 2015, IANA distinguishes the following groups of top-level domains:[#ref4 (4)]


(1) Root Zone Database

(2) Top-Level Domains (gTLDs)

(3) Frequently Asked Questions on new gTLDs

(4) IANA root zone database |


Sponsored_top-level_domain at Wikipedia

Last Author
Last Edited
Sat, Mar 28, 12:40 AM

Event Timeline

Spirillen created this object.Sat, Mar 28, 12:40 AM