.NU is the Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) assigned to the island state of Niue.
It was one of the first ccTLDs to be marketed to the Internet at large as an alternative to the gTLDs .com, .net, and .org. Playing on the phonetic similarity between nu and new, it was promoted as a “new” TLD in which there was an abundance of good domain names available. There is a company that offers free domains under the sub-domains co.nu and com.nu
The IUSN Foundation (formerly ‘Internet Users Society – Niue’) administers the TLD in order to provide a number of local services for Niue itself. IUSN funds Internet Niue which provides the island’s internet connection; complimentary PCs and internet connectivity for all residents; and in 2003 established free use WiFi hotspots at various locations throughout the country, claiming to be the “first WiFi nation”.
Usage of .nu
The .nu domain is particularly popular in Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium, as nu is the word for “now” in Swedish, Danish and Dutch – an example of a domain hack. Partially owing to restrictive domain rules for the ccTLD assigned to Sweden, .se, .nu was used for creative marketing of websites such as www.tv.nu.
In March 2000, .NU Domain Ltd became the first TLD to offer registration of Internationalized domain names, supporting the full Unicode character set. Unlike other TLDs, no browser plugin or punycode capable browser was required on the client side for use of these names, as .NU Domain’s web servers converted and redirected any web queries issued in a variety of international character encodings. However, in March 2010, .NU Domain announced at ICANN that they had recently disabled their general wildcard domain name resolution technology, and thus were implementing IDNs only by the now standard punycode implementation, and were reducing the accepted set of IDN characters for .NU Domain names to a subset of the ISO-8859-1 western European characters.
Domain revocation policy
.NU domain names are revoked without refund for displaying child porn, being involved with phishing, spamming, email theft, search engine abuse, or any unlawful purpose. Various domains such as vous.nu and por.nu return “THIS DOMAIN NAME HAS BEEN REVOKED BY .NU DOMAIN” and are not available for registration on .NUdomains’ site.