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  The .edu domain was created in January 1985 as one of the seven first generic top-level   domains. [2]  On April 24, 1985,,,,, and became   the first registered domain names. [2]  Until 2001, Network Solutions served as registrar for the .edu domain under an arrangement with the U.S. Department of Commerce. Domain registration was done at no cost to educational   institutions. [3]  In 2001, the Commerce Department entered into a five-year agreement   with Educause making that organization the registrar for the .edu domain. [4]  The agreement with Educause was extended for an additional five-year period in 2006; at that time Educause was authorized to begin charging a yearly administrative fee to registrants. [5]     The .edu domain was srcinally intended for educational institutions anywhere in the world. However, most of the institutions that obtained .edu registrations were in the United States, while non-U.S. educational institutions typically used country-level domains. [6]  In 1993, a decision attributed to Jon   Postel limited new registrations in the .edu domain to four-year postsecondary educational institutions. [3][7]  This prevented new .edu registrations by community colleges and other institutions   offering less than four years of postsecondary schooling. [3]  Enforcement of the restrictions in the 1990s was not entirely effective. The webmaster for the Exploratorium, a San Francisco science museum, recalled in 2006 that the museum obtained its .edu domain name at a time in the early 1990s when there were about 600 websites and only one for a museum. [8]  The museum's Internet registrar allowed it to sidestep the then-extant domain-naming rules by using the .edu extension in spite of not being an academic institution and by using a name with more than 12 characters. [8]  Some community colleges were reported to have   registered .edu names after 1993. [3]  In 1999 an article in  Mother Earth News  quoted an authority on distance education as saying, Anyone who has the necessary $70 can register an .edu domain name and use it to archive any type of enterprise on the Internet. [9]     In 2001, the .edu domain was restricted to U.S.-accredited postsecondary educational institutions. [2]  Subsequent changes expanded its use beyond four-year institutions, allowing registrations by accredited community colleges as well as by university systems, community college districts, and similar entities. [4]     Between 2004 and 2011, the number of registered names in domain .edu remained relatively constant, with more than 7,000 but fewer than 8,000 names registered at any given time. [10]   Eligibility  [edit]     Since October 29, 2001, only post-secondary institutions and organizations that are institutionally   accredited by an agency on the U.S. Department of Education's list of nationally recognized accrediting agencies are eligible to apply for a edu  domain. [11]  To be eligible, an institution must be   located in the U.S., legally organized in the U.S., or recognized by a U.S. state, territorial, or federal  agency. [11]  University system offices, community college district offices, and other entities within the   United States that are organized to manage and govern multiple accredited postsecondary institutions may also register .edu domain names. [11]  Each eligible institution is limited to registering   one .edu domain name, but institutions may also use names in other top-level domains. [12]  
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