In a previous story we discussed the amount of speculative/defensive registrations in the .xxx TLD, based on the zone file.
Today we are running the same analysis on .co.

Unlike the .xxx experiment, the present study will use a reconstructed (reverse-engineered) .co zone file. It is not guaranteed to be complete, but we believe there isn't much data missing.
We were able to gather 1145058 unique .co domains (at the second and third levels).
The zone was sampled around 21st December 2011.

Discussion

Registration in the .co ccTLD is available directly at the second level (.co) or at the third level under denominations such as .com.co, .net.co, .nom.co etc. The third level domains have been in use before .co was released to the public, and are more popular in Colombia proper.
The second level registrations currently account for 91% of the total volume.

As of 21 December 2011 we counted 1145058 active domain names in the .co zone file.

The breakdown is as follows:

Extension Count Percentage
.co 1044946 91.25%
.com.co 84837 7.40%
.net.co 3754 0.32%
.nom.co 902 0.07%
.gov.co 4456 0.38%
.edu.co 4644 0.40%
.mil.co 143 0.01%
.org.co 1376 0.12%
Grand total
1145058 100%

Analysis

A large number of .co domains point to Godaddy name servers. In the top 10 list alone, they represent 13.82% of the total volume. In the top 50 the percentage jumps to 30.34%. When taking the whole file into account the percentage soars to about 36%.

The parking name servers most present in the zone file are: Sedo Parking (2.72%), Godaddy CashParking (2.01%), Whypark (0.44%), Bodis (0.42%), Google (0.40%), Namedrive (0.31%), Afternic (0.25%), Internet Traffic (0.18%), Parked.com (0.15%).

It is assumed that many if not most of the .co domains using domaincontrol.com name servers are currently resolving to a standard Godaddy placeholder page and are undeveloped. A certain number of domains may also be using Godaddy-hosted DNS, and resolving to developed websites.

It would be necessary to resolve each domain name to IP addresse(s) in order to establish the proportion of domains 'not in use'.

The top 10 list can be found below:

Count Name server
Percentage
68459/68452
NS68.DOMAINCONTROL.COM
NS67.DOMAINCONTROL.COM
5.97%
33443/33445 NS69.DOMAINCONTROL.COM
NS70.DOMAINCONTROL.COM
2.92%
31189/31212
NS1.SEDOPARKING.COM
NS2.SEDOPARKING.COM
2.72%
28276/28275
NS37.DOMAINCONTROL.COM
NS38.DOMAINCONTROL.COM
2.46%
28096/28098 NS71.DOMAINCONTROL.COM
NS72.DOMAINCONTROL.COM
2.45%
26885 NS77.DOMAINCONTROL.COM
NS78.DOMAINCONTROL.COM
2.34%
26363 NS75.DOMAINCONTROL.COM
NS76.DOMAINCONTROL.COM
2.30%
26228/26225 NS63.DOMAINCONTROL.COM
NS64.DOMAINCONTROL.COM
2.29%
25858 NS.0XC0F1C3A5.COM
NS.0XC0F1C3A5.NET
NS.0XC0F1C3A5.ORG
2.25%
23092NS01.CASHPARKING.COM
NS02.CASHPARKING.COM
2.01%

The full list can be downloaded here (89426 lines).

Conclusion

The amount of Godaddy name servers in the zone file is very high - presumably more or less in line with Godaddy's market share.
The apparent proportion of 'pure' parked domains is less than might be expected in a speculative TLD. But the number of undeveloped domains may be quite high.
A previous survey conducted about a month ago counted 1120188 domain names. Accordingly there has been a net gain of 24870 registrations over the past month. The data in our possession indicates that the .co ccTLD continues to experience growth.