Our history begins in the 80's.
Our backstory begins in the 1980s. The internet was new, and it needed a system for assigning domain names. Because to begin with every internet user had a list of all the others, showing each one's internet address. Those addresses weren't like the ones we use now: they were just numbers. As the number of addresses increased, it became hard for users to keep their lists up to date. The solution was the Domain Name System (DNS), which enables people to reach each other using names instead of numbers. E.g. SIDN.nl instead of 126.96.36.199.
Piet Beertema, the man behind .nl
Piet Beertema was system manager at the Centre for Mathematics and Informatics (CWI). He had the great idea of asking for the Netherlands to have its own the top-level domain: .nl. He put the idea to Jon Postel, a US internet pioneer. Jon approved Piet's request and .nl was created. On 30 April 1986, the CWI registered the first .nl domain name: cwi.nl. So .nl was the first active country-code domain outside the US. And to this day, Piet is still the registrant of godfatherof.nl.
The start of SIDN
In the 1990s, the internet grew rapidly, and so did the number of users. Registering all their domain names soon became a big job. Big enough to justify setting up a national foundation to do it: the Foundation for Internet Domain Registration in the Netherlands (SIDN). The people behind the new foundation were Piet Beertema, Ted Lindgreen and Boudewijn Nederkoorn. We took over responsibility for registering .nl domain names on 31 January 1996.
Since 2003, anyone has been allowed to register a .nl domain name. No matter where you are and whether you're a business or a private individual. Our first CEO, Hans Kraaijenbrink, worked hard to get that reform, finally succeeding in the year of his death. After that, .nl grew enormously, reaching a million names in the same year. Today, there are more than 5.8 million names, making .nl the fifth largest country-code domain in the world.
For more facts and figures, visit our statistics page.
|2017 - 12||5.8 million .nl domain names registered|
|2017 - 02||5.7 million .nl domain names registered|
|2016 - 04||.nl domain celebrates its 30 year anniversary|
|2016 - 04||5.6 million .nl domain names registered|
|2015 - 02||SIDN becomes registry service provider for .amsterdam|
|2014 - 09||5.5 million .nl domain names registered|
|2014 - 05||Foundation of SIDN Fund|
|2014 - 04||SIDN becomes registry service provider for .aw (Aruba)|
|2013 - 05||
1.5 million .nl domain names secured with DNSSEC
|2012 - 09||5 million .nl domain names registered|
|2012 - 08||
Protection of .nl domain names using DNSSEC becomes possible
|2011 - 11||
.nl domain celebrates its silver jubilee
|2008 - 06
||Covenant with the Dutch government assures .nl's future|
|2003 - 06||
1 million .nl domain names registered
|2000 - 11||
Registration of the first third-level domain name: jansen.123.nl
|1996 - 01||
Foundation of SIDN
|1986 - 05||
Registration of the first .nl domain name: cwi.nl
|1986 - 04||
.nl the first active ccTLD in the world due to Piet Beertema
SIDN, more than just .nl
What else do we do?
- We play an important role in international consultative bodies such as ICANN, IETF and Centr.
- We do research to make the internet more secure.
- We support initiatives that promote internet security and internet use.
- We develop new products and services.