The majority of new domains are from small and medium businesses
A new report has found the number of '.ie' internet domains being registered is on the rise.
The Domain Profile Report by the IE Domain Registry (IEDR) says 112 new .ie domains were registered every day in first half of 2017.
That is up 11% on last year. Some 230,611 .ie domains were registered by June 30th.
This is the best half-year period for .ie domain registrations since 2011.
The majority of new domains were registered by small and medium businesses - such as corporate bodies and sole traders.
Dublin, Cork and Galway saw the most domains registered, with the longest registered .ie domain name being 63 characters.
irishwordsofwisdomoureldersusedtosayandothertreasuresfoundalong.ie ('Irish Words of Wisdom Our Elders Used to Say and Other Treasures Found Along') is over six-times longer than the average domain length of 10 characters.
But the report says despite strong national growth, Ireland compares poorly with our European neighbours.
Ireland ranks 18th out of 22 European countries, with 49 domains registered per 1,000 people.
While we rank ahead of countries with larger populations - like France (46 country domains per 1,000 people) and Spain (40) - Ireland is significantly behind others of similar size, like Denmark (234) and Norway (141).
David Curtin, chief executive of IEDR, said: "The remarkable half-year growth of .ie domain name registrations is a testament to the strength of the brand.
"SME owners and consumers recognise that .ie is ‘Identifiably Irish’ online, representing trust, authenticity and familiarity.
"It is particularly encouraging to see growth in new registrations in all provinces of Ireland.
"However, we are acutely aware that this is mostly confined to counties with large urban populations, namely Dublin, Cork and Galway.
"Lower uptake in rural areas will continue to affect our poor European ranking for the number of .ie domains per 1,000 people.
"This is partly an infrastructural issue. Ireland still lacks a complete high-speed broadband network, and continued delays to the National Broadband Plan will not only disadvantage rural citizens, but stifle the growth of rural SMEs, making them less competitive."
When broken down geographically, the vast majority of new .ie domains registered in this half-year period were registered on the island of Ireland: 98%, or 18,849, in the Republic of Ireland and 2%, or 324, in Northern Ireland.
Read the report in full here