Netherlands is a leading internet player
"From the outset, the Netherlands was a leading player in the rise of the internet," points out SIDN's CEO Roelof Meijer. "For many years, our country headed the international league tables for internet access, internet speed, on-line banking and mobile internet use. Players such as Surfnet, AMS-IX and SIDN built global reputations. In 1986, .nl became the first country-code domain outside the US. In the years since, it has not only grown into the fifth biggest national domain in the world with more than 5.7 million registrations, but has also become one the most secure top-level domains around. Satisfaction amongst our customers is greater than ever and we have established a strong position in the national and international internet industry."
Constantly delivering more added value
SIDN nevertheless remains fully committed to continued innovation. "We are constantly looking to increase the range of services we can offer in connection with .nl," says Roelof Meijer. "Our Domain Name Surveillance Service is a good example. Furthermore, by acquiring Connectis, we have extended our influence into the field of security solutions and significantly increased our added value. Since 2015, we have been investing through SIDN Fund in projects that increase the social and economic value of the internet in the Netherlands."
Netherlands has work to do
Against that backdrop, it is pertinent to consider where the Netherlands stands today. Is the country still amongst the international leaders? Are we using the opportunities open to us? Or have other countries caught us up? "The Netherlands continues to perform well," continues Roelof Meijer. "Our digital infrastructure is one of the best in the world. The .nl domain is still growing and our e-commerce sector is robust. We remain at the top of many league tables, but we are in danger of being pegged back in more and more fields. It is therefore vital that we devote much more attention to security and reliability – two absolute preconditions for making the most of the internet. However, that should not be at the expense of access, openness or privacy. Labour-market shortages and rapid technical developments are placing enormous demands on our educational system. And we can still improve the climate for internet start-ups. Big data and the internet of things afford opportunities that we must be ready to seize. In short, there is work to be done."