The number of Swedish users registering its country code (.se) has decreased by over 40 percent in the past year due in large part to restrictions on its usage.
NIC-SE, the Swedish organization that handles registration, introduced a policy in January permitting only incorporated companies to use the .se-code. All other enterprises must register under alternative names that include a province character. This was intended to prevent conflicts between companies with similar names.
But instead of using the obscure province characters, many Swedish groups are abandoning the .se-code altogether, and turning to top level domains such as .com, .net and .org. Also growing in popularity is the .nu-domain, which means “now” in Swedish, as well as .tm and .to.
Jesper Lindgren, a spokesman for Internet service provider WinEasy, said that more than half of its new clients registered under domain name systems other than the Swedish.
Michael Landin, who is in charge of registering .nu-domains in Sweden, said in 1999 he saw a growth from 8,000 to 30,000 new .nu-domains for Swedish users.
NIC-SE spokeswoman Eva Frolich said she is aware of the criticism to the organization’s policy, but there are no plans to change it.
The Swedish government is currently conducting an investigation into the state of domain names, and some have their eyes on switching to the Danish model, which is comparable to United States’ domain name policy. A report on the investigation is expected in July, 1999.