Happy Birthday to the .com domain, 25 years old today. Yes, it really was way back on the 15th March 1985 that symbolics.com became the very first true dotcom company by registering a .com domain on the Internet. Today there are no less than 80 million registered dotcom websites.

One new study has found that the economic impact of the dotcom domain should not be undervalued, revealing that the domain serves as a platform for some $400 billion in annual economic activity! The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) report suggests that the broader Internet economy drives an astonishing $1.5 trillion in global annual economic activity. To put that into some perspective, that's more than the global sales of medicine, investment in renewable energy, and government investment in R&D combined.

Indeed, it could reasonably be said that dotcom is at the centre of pretty much every major Internet trend. According to VeriSign’s Internet Profiling Service there are 11.9 million e-commerce and online business websites, 1.8 million sports-related sites and 4.3 million entertainment-related sites with a .com web address.

The dotcom domain has also become part of the fabric of daily life, and according to a recent Zogby poll some 81 percent of Americans visit five or more .com websites every day. Two-thirds of Americans visit between five and 25 .com websites a day. Over half of the 3,800 survey respondents reported finding important medical information on a .com website and one in five said they found a job on a .com site.

Amongst the celebrations to mark the cultural, economic and social impacts of the dotcom domain will be a summit of Internet policymakers and industry leaders in Washington, D.C. which is being hosted by VeriSign Inc and which will see the former President of the United States, Bill Clinton, give a birthday address to kick things off.

"For anyone under the age of 30, they probably don’t remember when the Internet wasn’t in their life. It’s become such an essential part of how we work, live and play. The 25th anniversary of .com gives us a moment to step back and realize how deeply the Internet revolution has transformed our society” said Mark McLaughlin, CEO and president of VeriSign".