Denmark's place on the Internet
In 1999, the association Danish Internet Forum, DIFO, took over the role of administering the top level domain .dk. Following this, DIFO established the wholly owned subsidiary DK Hostmaster to manage the daily operation.
Liberalization and the world wide web
A couple of years before DIFO and DK Hostmaster was formed, more precisely in January 1997, the .dk domain names were liberalized and it became possible for both associations, institutions and private persons to register .dk domain names. Before this, it had only been possible for "legal institutions" such as companies to register the .dk domain names.
The liberalisation led to an increased interest in the .dk domain names. In January 1997 there were 7,736 registered domain names and in late 1999 the number had increased to over 140,000.
With the increasing success of the Internet, the need for clarification of who should be responsible for the administration simultaneously increased. Various stakeholders from the industry, including ministries, industry associations, NGOs and businesses came up with the idea that an association consisting of members from different Danish Internet stakeholders should take over the task from the telecom company Tele Denmark, who had previously acquired the administration by the acquisition of DKnet.
Thus, the association DIFO was founded in July 1999 with the aim to establish the overall conditions for the .dk domain names, and DIFO founded DK Hostmaster to manage the daily operation and technical administration.
Self-regulation becomes legislation
In the first decade, DIFO and DK Hostmaster handled the administration on the basis of an agreement with the previous Ministry of Research, but since 2005 DIFO and DK Hostmaster have administered .dk based on the provisions stated in the domain name act. In March 2014 a new and revised domain name act was adopted.
.dk in public tender
Based on the first Domain Name Act the Danish Government initiated in 2008 a public tender regarding the administration of the .dk domains. In addition to DIFO, another actor participated in the tender. In the end, DIFO won the tender because of the support of the various stakeholders in the Internet community.
As a result of the new domain name act in 2014, the Danish Government held a public hearing regarding the need of a new public tender. The public hearing showed continued support in the internet community to DIFO and DK Hostmaster and thus DIFO’s license to administer the .dk top level domain name was extended until 2021.
In short, DK Hostmaster started off in 1999 keeping track of 100,000 domain names and today DK Hostmaster handles the administration of more than 1,3 million .dk domain names.