It was first registered in July , seven months after the original generic top-level domains such as. As of February [update] , it is the fifth most popular top-level domain worldwide after. As with other ccTLDs in the early days it was originally delegated by Jon Postel to a "trusted person" to manage. Membership of this committee was restricted to a group of high-end ISPs who were part of a formal peering arrangement. The Naming Committee was organised as a mailing list to which all proposed names were circulated. The members would consider the proposals under a ruleset that insisted that all domain names should be very close if not identical to a registered business name of the registrant. Members of the Naming Committee could object to any name, and if at least a small number of objections were received, the name was refused. By the mids the growth of the Internet, and particularly the advent of the World Wide Web was pushing requests for domain name registrations up to levels that were not manageable by a group of part-time voluntary managers. Oliver Smith of Demon Internet forced the issue by providing the committee with a series of automated tools, called the "automaton", which formalised and automated the naming process end to end. This allowed many more registrations to be processed far more reliably and rapidly, and inspired individuals such as Ivan Pope to explore more entrepreneurial approaches to registration.
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