A record 4.7 million Internet addresses were sold in the first three months of 2004, bringing the total number of registered addresses to a new high of 62.9 million.

The report attributed the spike in domain-name sales to growing Internet usage in Europe and Asia, as well as a rebounding U.S. economy. VeriSign noted that 4.1 million domain names were sold in the first quarter of 2003 and 3.7 million in the first quarter of 2002.



VeriSign, the exclusive wholesaler of Internet addresses ending in dot-com and dot-net, measured registrations for every available domain — from dot-org and dot-edu to country codes like dot-ch for Switzerland and dot-sg for Singapore. It also included data on relatively newer domains like dot-biz, dot-info and dot-museum.



The growing demand for domain names was fueled in part by the new availability of Internet addresses that use Arabic, Chinese and Russian characters, said Raynor Dahlquist, VeriSign’s acting vice president for naming and directory services.



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