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The Company

Internet á Íslandi hf. (ISNIC) was founded in 1995 to operate the Icelandic Internet (ISnet). ISNIC was established on the basis of two informal organizations (SURIS and ICEUUG) that had been running the network since Iceland's networking connections where established in 1986. These initial connections to the European EUnet network were run under the auspices of the University of Iceland and the Icelandic Marine Research Institute.

The Icelandic network grew rapidly and by 1995 the members of the above organizations decided that the network's operation needed to be established in a formal manner. The network was, at this time, used by all Internet users in Iceland, including the Universities and the rest of the educational system, the government, largest companies banks etc. Most of the user companies and institutes became shareholders in the new company with shares allocated according to the volume of their business with ISNIC. Internet á Íslandi hf. grew rapidly during its first years of operation as the only Internet Service Provider (ISP) in Iceland. ISNIC was Iceland's first member of RIPE, was allocated the first IP addresses in Iceland (, the first Autonomous System number (1850) and inherited the management role for the .IS ccTLD, which had been delegated to SURIS in 1988 by IANA.

By the year 2000 Internet á Íslandi hf. was still the biggest ISP in Iceland (over 200 corporate customers, with points of precence in Reykjavík, Keflavík, Akranes and Akureyri and transatlantic connections to Stockholm and New York), but faced competition from the incumbent government phone company, and various other nascent ISP's. The largest shareholders of ISNIC at the time (The University of Iceland and the Icelandic government) decided to sell their stakes in ISNIC in 2001 to a newly established communications company, Íslandssími (which later became Vodafone Iceland). The new owner merged ISNIC's networking operation (which accounted for about 90% of the company) with their own network and in 2001 ISNIC was restructured as a smaller company responsible for the .IS ccTLD management and the operation of Iceland's only open internet exchange point (Reykjavík Internet EXchange - RIX).

In 2007, Internet á Íslandi hf. was acquired by a group of investors and subsequently merged with Modernus ehf. the operators of the icelandic coordinated webmeasurement system. These measurements continue under the ISNIC name.

Today ISNIC concentrates on three core compentencies; (1) Operating the .IS ccTLD (country-code Top-Level Domain), (2) Operating the Reykjavik Internet Exchange, and (3) The Icelandic coordinated web traffic measurement system.

ISNIC and it's forerunners have registered .IS domains from 1988, from the registration of the first few of domains e.g., and, to over 40000 domains today. .IS is consistently among the top 5 most secure domains in the world (McAfee Inc, 2008, and 2007), and was one of the first ccTLDs to have a completely automated registration system, established in 2001. ISNIC maintains the security of its domain registration by insisting on correct and up-to-date information on all registrants and all domain contacts, and by making registration of .IS domains dependent on well defined technical requirements. These requirements are validated before registration, and at regular intervals after registration. Registration of domains that do not fulfill these requirements is revoked, thus maintaining the overall quality of the .IS domain names.

The registration of .IS domains is backended by a set of nameservers for .IS distributed around the world. These nameservers are synchronized every 20 minutes with the authoritative set of .IS delegation records.

The Reykjavik Internet Exchange is the only open internet exchange point in Iceland and is located at ISNIC headquarters in Höfdatúni 2 and in Tæknigarði on the University of Iceland campus. RIX is a minimal, very simple exchange with the expressed purpose to be inexpensive and highly reliable. There are currently 15 Autonomous Systems (ISP's) connected, including all major ISP and hosting companies in Iceland. In 2003 an instance of the K-root was connected to the RIX, increasing the DNS reliability in Iceland.

The Icelandic coordinated web measurements currently maintains a database of usage statistics for all the major Icelandic web sites and publishes their readership statistics in a consistent manner, so that relative comparisons can be made of their size and popularity. In addition to web measurement tools, additional products from Modernus are Watchdog, a web monitoring tool and Svarbox, a online chat/support service with extensive features. All of the software designed by Modernus is implemented as a service, and requires no special setup on behalf of the customer.

Company information as required by icelandic law #30 - 2002 regulating electronic commerce and services:

Company name: Internet in Iceland Inc. ISNIC.
Short name: ISNIC.
Address: Katrínartúni 2
105 Reykjavík
Company registry number: 660595-2449
E mail:
Phone: +354 578-2030
Fax: +354 578-2031
VAT number: 46757
Registration: The company is a registered limited company with the Icelandic Company Registry.
Licences and agreements:
  1. ISNIC manages the .IS country-code top-level domain according to an agreement with IANA/ICANN as specified in RFC-1591 and ICP-1.
  2. Exchange of letters between ICANN and ISNIC regarding the .IS ccTLD management.
  3. ISNIC is a licenced communications company. Licence issued by the Post and Telecom administration in Iceland.
  1. CENTR - Council of European National Top-level Domain Registries.
  2. EURO-IX - The Association of European Internet Exchanges.
  3. ccNSO - The Country Code Names Supporting Organisation.
  4. RIPE - RIPE Network Coordination Centre.

Business terms.