In June 1988 EARN and Eunet introduce the .be domain. Professor Pierre Verbaeten of the Leuven Catholic University is assigned the responsibility of it.

In March 1993 the university gets IP connectivity. The name server for .be is installed on the computers of the Computer Science department of the university. The first .be domain names are registered manually in December 1993.
Interest in domain names grows; only names corresponding to the official organisation or company name, a commercial denomination or a trademark are being accepted. Each request has to be justified with official documents.
In 1994, 129 .be domain names are registered.

In February 1999 ISPA Belgium (Internet Service Providers Association), BELTUG (Belgium’s communication technology and services user Group) and Fabrimetal (The federation of the technological industry in Belgium) found the non-profit organisation dns.be. The purpose of the organisation is to take over the registration of domain names from the KU Leuven. In March 1999 dns.be becomes a member of Centr.

In January 2000 the organisation takes over the management of the .be-zone from P. Verbaeten and the KU Leuven. The organisation prepares a real revolution: the liberalisation of the .be domain in December 2000:

  • The registration system is completely automated
  • Companies entering into an agreement with DNS.be become .be registrars; they can register and control their domain names in DNS.be’s automated registration system
  • Everyone can register any name they like, following the “first come first served” principle
  • The price charged annually for a domain name falls from € 40 to € 25

At the start of the liberalisation, the number of domain names is 40,000. After less than 3 weeks, the number has more than doubled (end December: 89,718).
One year later, DNS.be lowers the price to € 10, and later to € 6.

From October 2001, domain names can change owners, with mutual consent of both parties. That’s why a new transaction is introduced: the trade.

In September 2002, DNS.be sets up a consortium with its colleagues from Sweden and Italy to operate the .eu domain, based on the Belgian model. The management of .eu is finally assigned to EURid, of which DNS.be is a member.

In 2006 the price for a .be domain name is lowered to € 5 per year, 2 years later to € 2,5.

In August 2010, DNS.be introduces DNSSEC in the .be zone. From October everyone can register a DNSSEC signed .be domain name.

The transfer of a .be domain name is being automated in spring 2011. There is just one transaction for both trades and transfers and they are executed immediately.

At the beginning of 2012, the Flemish and Brussels authorities assign the operation of the respective gTLDs .vlaanderen and .brussels to DNS.be. DNS.be submits the applications with ICANN.

Later in 2012, DNS Belgium implemented IDNA2008, which makes it possible to register domain names with letters with accents, or with characters from another alphabet than the latin alphabet. Read more on IDN

In 2014, the new extensions .vlaanderen and .brussels are launched in 5 different phases. Both extensions are available to everyone from 2015 onwards, according to the first come first served principle.


The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a non-profit organisation that is responsible worldwide for managing domain names.


Council of European National Top-level domain Registries. It is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to supporting the interest of country code TLD managers. 


A computer program or hardware device that provides services to other computer programs or users.


Domain Name System or Domain Name Server. The global DNS is the system and protocol used on the internet to translate domain names into IP addresses and vice versa. 


(Domain Name System Security Extensions) is a security extension to the existing DNS protocol: it is designed to stop criminals from diverting internet users to forged websites.


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