Top Level Domains (TLDs) are split into two types: Country Code TLDs (cc TLDs) use a standard two letter sequence defined by ISO 3166.
Since 2004 g TLDs now have a sub-category known as s TLDs (Sponsored TLDs) which implies they have limited registration, examples of s TLDs include .aero, .museum, .travel, and whereas the normal g TLDs typically have open registration requirements.
Remember that the Internet (or any network for that matter) works by allocating every point (host, server, router, interface etc.) a physical IP address (which may be locally unique or globally unique).
Since 1998 ICANN, a non-profit organisation, has assumed this responsibility from the US government.
The g TLDs are authoritatively administered by ICANN and delegated to a series of accredited registrars.
Each layer in the hierarchy may delegate the authoritative control to the next lower level.
In the case of cc TLDs countries like Canada (cc TLD .ca) and the US (cc TLD .us) and others with federal governments decided that they would administer at the national level and delegate to each province (Canada) or state (US) a two character province/state code, for example, = Quebec, = New York, md = Maryland etc..
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