[June 08, 2004]

VeriSign Issues Quarterly Domain Report and Registrant Profile Revealing Important Trends in Internet Growth and Usage

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., June 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- VeriSign, Inc. , the leading provider of intelligent infrastructure services for the Internet and telecommunications networks, today released the VeriSign Domain Report and VeriSign Domain Name Registrant Profile, highlighting key quarterly market data for domain name activity around the world. According to the report, more than 4.7 million new domain names were registered during the first quarter of 2004-the highest quarterly figure for new domain registrations in the history of the Internet.

The profile reveals that more than 63 million domain names have now been registered, approximately one for every 100 people living in the world today. This number is greater than at any time in the Internet's history, surpassing even the heights that were seen during the Internet "bubble." Moreover, data reveal that the current base of domain names is being utilized more actively than ever before, as measured by renewal rates, look-up rates, and the percentage of domain names tied to live sites.
As the operator of the global registry for .com and .net, as well as the provider of two of the root servers for the global domain name system, VeriSign has a unique view into the expansion and development of the Internet. The VeriSign Domain Report and the VeriSign Domain Name Registrant Profile ( http://www.verisign.com/domainbrief ) mark the second issue in VeriSign's quarterly Domain Name Industry Brief series. The series provides Internet users across the world with key statistical and analytical research on the domain name market. Each quarter, the Brief showcases a quarterly topic related to important Internet trends, and updates the Domain Report which provides key industry data.
Findings in this quarter's Brief include both an increasingly strong rate of new registrations, and a growing stability and utilization within the existing domain name base. Highlights include:
-- Overall Growth: New registrations, renewal rates, and the overall
number of domain names under registration, all set records in the first
quarter of 2004. Showing 21 percent growth over the first quarter of
2003, total domain name registrations surpassed 63 million domain names
by the end of Q1.
-- Increasing Utilization: In addition to being larger than at any point
in history, the current domain name base is also being used more
actively. Over 72 percent of today's domain names now resolve to a Web
site, up from 55 percent at the height of the boom in December 2002.
In addition, total domain name resolutions for .com and .net reached an
average of 11 billion per day in the first quarter, indicating that the
speculative purchase of domain names that fueled much of the growth in
the late nineties has been replaced by real Web sites and e-mail boxes,
to which real people are connecting.
-- Increasing Globalization: Country Code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs)
account for a growing portion of overall domain names, and currently
represent 40 percent of all domain names registered in the world. The
majority of ccTLDs are registered in Europe, including .de (Germany)
and .uk (United Kingdom), which account for twelve percent and eight
percent, respectively, of all domains registered in the world. In fact,
.de accounts for more than 90 percent of all domains registered in
Germany. Several countries around the world have already launched
Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs), also known as "multilingual"
domains, which allow for the use of domain names written in non ASCII
character sets. Other countries are planning to launch IDN capabilities
this year.


"Though North America has the highest number of Internet users as a percentage of its population -- some 55 percent -- increasing Internet traffic is a reflection of a fast growing group of Internet users around the world," said Rusty Lewis, executive vice president of VeriSign's Naming and Directory Services. "For instance, 223 million people in Asia and 173 million people in Europe currently use the Internet on a regular basis, compared with around 175 million in North America. But, those Internet users represent only six percent and 22 percent, respectively, of the total populations of Asia and Europe."
The overall trends in growth, utilization, and globalization found in the Domain Brief are similar to Internet usage increases that VeriSign has observed in operating other intelligent infrastructure services for the Internet and telecommunications networks. For example, a recent report from VeriSign's Security and Payments Services showed that online commerce volume went up by 59 percent during the most recent holiday shopping season, with average transaction value growing by 14 percent to $152.00.
Copies of the report may be obtained at http://www.verisign.com/domainbrief. For more information on upcoming domain market information or to obtain additional information from VeriSign, please contact: domainbrief@verisign.com.
About VeriSign
VeriSign, Inc. delivers critical infrastructure services that make the Internet and telecommunications networks more intelligent, reliable and secure. Every day VeriSign helps thousands of businesses and millions of consumers connect, communicate, and transact with confidence. Additional news and information about the company is available at http://www.verisign.com/ .
Statements in this announcement other than historical data and information constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause VeriSign's actual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by such forward-looking statements. The potential risks and uncertainties include, among others; the current growth trends set forth in the VeriSign Domain Name Report may not continue in the foreseeable future and VeriSign's contracts to perform as the registry operators for the .net and .com top-level domains expire in 2005 and 2007, respectively, subject to a competitive bidding process under which VeriSign will compete with other companies to remain as the registry operator in those top-level domains. More information about potential factors that could affect the company's business and financial results is included in VeriSign's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2003 and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. VeriSign undertakes no obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this press release.
NOTE: VeriSign is a registered trademark of VeriSign, Inc. in the United States and in foreign countries.
VeriSign, Inc.


CONTACT: media relations, Patrick Burns, pburns@verisign.com, or+1-703-948-4471; or investors, Katie Bare, kbare@verisign.com, or+1-650-426-3241, both of VeriSign, Inc.


Web site: http://www.verisign.com/

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