The domain extension .net is one of the first implemented generic top-level domains (gTLD) used on the Domain Name System of the Internet. It is managed and operated by Verisign. Verisign is also the authoritative registry for the .net, and .name generic top-level domains. IANA, ICANN's division, which is responsible for all the coordination and management of the DNS, introduced .net in 1985.
The name .net is derived from the “network” word. And this situation indicates that it was first planned and intended for an organization involved in networking technologies like Internet service providers and other infrastructure companies. But, those restrictions have never enforced properly and the domain is a general-purpose namespace now. It is still popular among network operators and the advertising sector. And it regards as an alternative to .com.
On May 25, 2001, ICANN approved Verisign’s applications to be the registry operator of the .net extension. This agreement was recently renewed in June 2011, for the next 6 years. That renewal will be automatic as long as Verisign meets certain ICANN necessity.
Until the third quarter of 2019, Verisign had 359.8 million domain name registrations, including .com, and .net.
.net ranks #2 among all domain extensions, and #2 among all generic extensions (gTLDs). Currently, there are 13.8M registered .net domain names. VeriSign is the current registry of .net extension.