In 1988, the Internet was still largely the creature of academics, government and military organizations, and a few key players in the technology and telecommunications industries. Still, protocols and standards for this thing called the Internet were beginning to be developed. At the top was the creatively named top-level domain, whose original purpose was to identify either the type of organization or the geographic location that was the source of the content. By the mid- to late 1980s, the original seven generic top-level domains (gTLD) had been established: .edu for educational institutions, .org for nonprofit organizations, .net for networks, .gov for US government entities, .int for international organizations, .mil for US military units, and, famously, .com for commercial companies. The lion's share of new gTLD applications and approved names are submitted by companies that are primarily in the business of selling domain names and have applied for gTLDs as a way of expanding their opportunities to register new domains.
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