India registered a 50-per cent growth in web site traffic, as the total subscriber base for broadband (net speeds exceeding 256 kbps) reached 5.45 million by the end of December 2008.
Net usage in India is expected to grow faster in the months ahead. The telecom ministry's figures reveal that in Januar 2009 alone, new broadband subscriber additions was 20 lakh, taking the total subscriber base to 5.65 million by the end of January 2009.
Internet infrastructure services provider VeriSign deployed the first India regional internet resolution site in Mumbai a year ago in February 2008. A new report by VeriSign, Domain Name Industry Brief, says that in the past 12 months, there has been a 50-per cent increase in DNS traffic at the Mumbai site, indicating growth of web site traffic and use throughout the region.
Globally 24 million new domain names were added globally in 2008 taking the total to 177 million domain name registrations across all of the top level domains (TLDs), the report aded. This represents 16 per cent growth over the previous year.
In the fourth quarter of 2008, more than 10.1 million new domain names were registered across all TLDs. The composition of the domain name industry and rank order in terms of base size remained consistent in the fourth quarter. The five largest TLDs in terms of base size were .com, .cn (China), .de (Germany), .net, and .org.
The overall base of .com and .net domain names grew to 90.4 million at the end of 2008. This represents a 12-per cent increase over the previous year and a one per cent increase over the third quarter of 2008.
In the face of the internet's continued global growth, VeriSign continued to operate the infrastructures that allow users to register domain names, access web sites, send emails or conduct commerce and communications.
During the quarter, VeriSign processed a peak of nearly 50 billion domain name system (DNS) queries per day, with each query representing an instance of an Internet user accessing a web site or sending email.
The VeriSign DNS continued to maintain 100 per cent operational accuracy and stability during the fourth quarter of 2008, just as it has for the past 11 years.
The report also spotlights how VeriSign and others in the global internet community are working to provide a way for people of all languages to navigate the internet.
The issue is important, because internet usage is growing fastest in countries where English and other Latin-based languages are not the primary language.
One method of addressing this is to implement domain names represented by local language characters, such as Japanese Kanji symbols, rather than the ASCII letters and numbers used in English and most European languages.
Known as Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs), these TLDs use local language characters to represent the domain name, and then to follow them with a common ASCII TLD, such as .com or .net.
Though more than 47 domain name registry operators support IDNs, concerns over public confusion and ease of use, uneven browser support, and local network limitations have triggered a growing desire in the Internet community to provide a fully localized navigation experience by extending internationalization to the TLD itself.
In support of this effort, VeriSign has joined the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and others in the Internet community to pursue development of Internationalized TLDs.
While participants are working to resolve the many complicated challenges that exist with fully internationalised TLDs, the internet community expects the application process in the New gTLD programme will commence late this year. Tests are already underway, with public participation in usage trials designed to help ensure ongoing DNS stability and security.
''The potential for internationalised TLDs to enable a universally accessible Internet is promising,'' said Jill McNabb, vice president, Naming Services at VeriSign. ''But it must be done right. A careless or rushed approach will expose the community to a high risk of failure over technical and business issues.
VeriSign publishes the VeriSign Domain Name Industry Brief to provide internet users throughout the world with significant statistical and analytical research and data on the domain name industry and the Internet as a whole.