Canada’s .CA turns 25 years old today. It was on this day in 1987 that the .CA top-level domain was officially delegated by Jon Postel, operator of Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), to John Demco at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Demco and a group of volunteers ran the registry for 13 years. Since 2000, the registry for .CA domain names has been run by the Ottawa-based Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA).
“We owe a debt to the visionaries who set up .CA in the 1980s,” explained CIRA’s President and CEO Byron Holland. “While many people today may take the Internet for granted, the fact is, without the foresight of people like John Demco, the Internet might not have developed as we now know it.”
In 1987, the Internet was a very different entity. Very few Canadians were online, and until 1990 only governments and the academic community were able to register .CA domains. The very first .CA domain name was registered to the University of Prince Edward Island in 1988. Today, .CA is an integral part of the Canadian economic and social landscape.
From 1987 to 2000, the volunteers at UBC registered almost 60,000 domain names. Now with more than 1.9 million domain names registered, .CA is the world’s 14th-largest domain registry, and it has the fourth-highest growth rate over the past five years.
Research conducted by CIRA suggests that:
- The .CA domain is viewed as being safe, secure and trusted.
- Canadians value .CA, with 88 per cent of Internet users seeing it as an important resource for Canadians.
- Forty-nine per cent of Canadian Internet users say they are proud to be Canadian and feel a personal connection to the .CA domain extension.
“The growth in both the size of the registry and in the role .CA plays in Canadians’ lives bodes well for the next 25 years of .CA,” said Holland. “As we move more and more of our lives online, .CA is becoming the ‘flag on the virtual backpack’ for hundreds of thousands of Canadians.”