The number of global internet domain names continued to fall in March and early April, defying predictions of an upturn after almost six months of decline.
A monthly report from Snapnames found that in March there was a net decline in the number of .com, .org and .net names.
Over the past six months, some 2.5 million .com, .net and .org names - or 12 per cent of the total - have expired and not been renewed.
It is the most telling sign of the collapse of the dotcom market, and the scramble of companies rushing to register numerous domains to use, or sell for a high price.
Snapnames, which runs a reservation service for expiring domains as well as producing the report, itself admits to being shocked at the continuing downturn, after predicting in March that the total number of global names would begin to grow that month.
In Australia, the outlook for the global domain industry is of most interest to Melbourne IT, which has a sizeable chunk of the world market, and RegistrarsAsia, which is also an accredited domain registrar.