The internet arrived in Sweden in the mid-1980s. In 1987-1988, the Swedish universities’ data network, SUNET, began to use the internet protocol in a nationwide network with a connection to the internet in the US. The Nordic universities’ data network, NORDUnet, did the same.

Already in 1986, Björn Eriksen at Enea Data had the national top-level domain .se registered, which meant that he personally became the registrant of the top-level domain. Björn Eriksen began working at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm in 1988, at KTHNOC. At the time, the work to register domain names was financed by funds from SUNET, NORDUnet and Ebone. KTH neither controlled nor financed domain-name management.

First policy for domain name allocation

Development was then rapid. In pace with the growth of the operation and the increase in the volume of registrations in 1994-1995, Björn attempted to identify other solutions with the support of such organizations as KTH. Discussions were initiated with the Swedish Post and Telecom Agency (PTS), which subsequently declined on the grounds that such a takeover would take several years. In the autumn of 1995, SIS-ITS, SNUS and PTS jointly developed a policy for the distribution of domain names in Sweden. ITS AG12 was formed in 1995 by ITS to handle rules for the allocation of domain names. Sometime during the winter of 1996-1997, ISOC-SE commenced its work to prepare a new organizational structure for domain-name management. This work was conducted in cooperation with KTH, Björn Eriksen, SNUS, ITS AG12 and others.

Foundation for Internet Infrastructure formed in 1997

ISOC-SE initiated and formed IIS (Foundation for Internet Infrastructure) in August 1997. The foundation’s records list two main purposes: to operate and develop the top-level Swedish internet domain, .se, and to otherwise promote the development of the internet infrastructure in Sweden. The foundation was formed because the .se domain – especially after the advent of the Web – began growing ever faster. To manage the catalog and the influx of new domain names, there was a need for a more stable organization that met the requirements to assume long-term responsibility for operation and management of the .se domain. In October 1997, Björn Eriksen was separated from the responsibility for the .se domain. InterNIC in the US then appointed the newly formed foundation as responsible for the .se domain.

NIC-SE formed and takes over .se

The foundation formed the company NIC-SE as a subsidiary with the assignment of implementing the practical aspects of operation and administration of the domain name system for the top-level domain, .se. The work of the foundation and its subsidiary was financed by domain name fees. In 1997, a study commissioned by the government was conducted within the Swedish Agency for Public Management. The study was to investigate the Swedish section of the internet. As a result of the investigation, the Agency for Public Management determined that the organization built by ISOC-SE for domain-name management met the conditions to function well and also deemed that the regulations for the management of domain names were adequate. Since the directive to the Agency for Public Management stated specifically that “the state only intervenes with regulations in exceptional cases. The industry must take responsibility for demands on network operators, etc., to the greatest extent possible”, the Agency for Public Management decided not to present any alternative proposal to the applicable order. It took until 2006 before the area was regulated through legislation in the Act on National Top-Level Domains for Sweden on the internet (2006:24). The act designates the communications authority PTS as the official inspectorate. As a result of the Act being passed, the foundation and the company were merged and formed a single organization.

IIS changed business model in 2009

IIS changed its business model on March 9, 2009. In brief, the new business model entails that the registrant becomes a customer of an accredited registrar instead of the earlier situation in which all registrants were customers of IIS. However, registrants can choose to be customers of .SE Direkt, which is IIS’s own registrar and was established in conjunction with the transition to the new business model. Anyone with a .se domain can now gather all of their internet-related services (domain name, connection, Web hotel, e-mail and so on) with a single provider. Previous to the change of business model, many customers were registered with IIS and another service provider, but since March 9, 2009, it has been possible to deselect IIS.