The Internet Economy 25 Years After .com

ITIF reviews the evolution of the Internet economy into a transformational part of daily life and a trillion dollar engine of innovation.

ITIF is marking the 25th anniversary of the very first .com with a comprehensive report, "The Internet Economy 25 Years After .Com: Transforming Life and Commerce." The Internet revolution has just begun.

The report is being issued 25 years to the day in 1985 when was registered as the first .com in the world. The report quantifies the dazzling growth and economic benefits of e-commerce, especially in the last decade since bubble collapse, and recommends ways to ensure a growing and vibrant Internet in the years to come.

From its quiet beginning in 1985, the Internet has grown to 80 million .coms and well over 200 million websites. E-commerce is the driving force behind rapid innovations, new products, services and business models and redefining our roles as consumers and citizens. The 25th anniversary of the .com will be the subject of a policy forum headlined by former President Bill Clinton on Tuesday at Reagan Building in which ITIF President Robert D. Atkinson will participate,

ITIF’s new report arrives in an important week in the development of the Internet’s infrastructure, with the FCC announcing its long-awaited recommendations on the national broadband plan.

Among the findings in the report are the following:

  • Of the roughly 250 million websites about 80 million are .coms. Even after the collapse of the .dom bubble, the number of domain names grows by an average of 668,000 a month.
  • The .coms alone account for some $400 million in economic benefits to businesses and consumers and that figure will likely double in the next ten years.
  • Despite high-profile failures in the dot-com bubble burst, typical survival rates for these new businesses were actually higher than normal and spectacular success stories have followed.
  • Only about 25 percent of the world's 6.7 billion participate in the dot-com economy but is changing – 73 million Chinese became Internet users in 2007 alone.

In order to sustain the progress that has been made in empowering consumers, spurring innovations and boosting productivity, the report urges:

  • Adoption of policies that allow for the deployment of technologies, like wired and wireless broadband, mobile payments platforms, health IT, and other Internet platforms.
  • Removal of regulatory and legal barriers to the emergence of new e-business models.
  • Creation of incentives for companies to invest in Internet-enabled business practices.
  • Advancing digital literacy.