.be celebrates its 20th anniversary

.be domain nameThe .be address exists since 1989. Back then, there were only a few Internet users. Only universities and large companies such as IBM used the Internet to send e-mails. In order to be able to communicate more easily, the .be domain has been created. At first, it did not generate much interest: hardly 1 request per week. Professor Verbaeten of the Catholic University of Leuven was in charge of registration. The university did not own its own server; it was based in the United States. In addition, rules were very strict: a domain name had to fully match the company name. Until 1996, .be domain names were free. Subsequently, one had to spend a one-time fee of 5,000 BEF (125 EUR) and a yearly fee of 3,000 BEF (75 EUR). Back then, registrations were also processed by agents.

Growth became such that professor Verbaeten was not able to process all incoming requests anymore. DNS.be saw the light of day exactly 10 years ago. One of the main consequences has been the full liberalisation of the .be domain in December 2000. From then on, everyone (individuals or companies) has been able to register his/her own .be domain name, which did not have to match his/her company name. The first day of registration, there has been a problem after a few seconds: servers crashed and the landrush had to be launched again 24 hours later.

The .be registry is currently among the best in the world: it is entirely automated and very stable. The concept is so reliable that the .be registry also manages a great part of the .eu domains.