Over six million new domain names were registered in the October-December period of 2012, taking the total number of registered domain names to 252 million worldwide, says a report.

“...More than six million domain names were added to the Internet in the fourth quarter of 2012, bringing the total number of registered domain names to more than 252 million worldwide across all top-level domains as of December 31, 2012,” VeriSign, the global registry operator for .com and .net said in a report.

The increase of 6.1 million domain names globally equates to a growth rate of 2.5 per cent over the third quarter of 2012 and marks the eighth straight quarter with more than 2 per cent growth, it added.

“Worldwide registrations have grown by 26.6 million, or 11.8 per cent, year over year,” the report said.

The .com and .net TLDs reached a combined total of approximately 121.1 million domain names in the adjusted zone for .com and .net, it added.

“As of December 31, 2012, the base of registered names in .com equalled 106.2 million names, while .net equalled 14.9 million names,” it said.

The .com and .net renewal rate for the fourth quarter of 2012 was 72.9 per cent, up slightly from 72.5 per cent in the third quarter of 2012.

Renewal rates vary quarter over quarter based on the composition of the expiring name base and the contribution of specific registrars.

“During the fourth quarter of 2012, Verisign’s average daily Domain Name System (DNS) query load was 77 billion, across all TLDs operated by Verisign, with a peak of 123 billion,” it said.