Dot-govs Dip Below 1,000

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That’s down from about 1,500 when the White House launched a consolidation initiative in 2011.

Remember that plan to drastically consolidate federal websites?

Progress on the initiative has been slow since mid-2011 when President Obama first highlighted dot-gov proliferation as part of his campaign to cut government waste.

As we approach the three-year anniversary of that initiative, though, the government has passed a milestone. For the first time in, likely, more than half a decade there are fewer than 1,000 unique top-level government Internet domains, according to a tally maintained by the project’s managers.

There were 993 top-level government Web domains that didn’t redirect to another site as of Tuesday compared with 1,500 such domains when the government did its first official count near the end of 2011.

The dot-gov consolidation program doesn’t have a clear endpoint. Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel has spoken approvingly of a British government program to pare its Web presence down to two large domains over the course of six years.  He has said it’s unlikely the U.S. government will reach that level of simplicity, though.

An example of a top-level domain would be an agency’s homepage such as State.gov. The links one can reach through that homepage such as State.gov/policy are lower-level domains. Experts have estimated consolidating federal websites is unlikely to yield any significant cost savings for the government.