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At 101domain, gandi.net, and other domain registrars that offer .ni domain registration, the minimum number of characters is 3.

However, there are sites with a two letter domain with the .ni ccTLD, such as http://mi.ni and http://ti.ni.

I have read that these two letter domains can sometimes be reserved for special uses (such as state organizations...). However, the above domains don't appear to be related to Nicaragua at all.

I'm just wondering how these sites were registered, as I have been looking to register a two letter .ni domain for a while but was never successful.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

As indicated here, domain registrations for the .ni ccTLD are at the third level (e.g., domain.co.ni or domain.com.ni).

Apart from those at the second level that are reserved for third-level extensions (like above), and those reserved for state organizations like the registry itself (nic.ni), the remaining second-level domains may have been released during a preregistration period, auction, or possibly just on a first-come, first-choice basis...

In any case, second-level .ni domains aren't available for registration, as indicated at nic.ni which requires a third-level extension. Also registrars such as gandi.net state:

Warning the .NI is available only in third-level domains
You can register the following at Gandi .COM.NI, .NET.NI, .ORG.NI, .NOM.NI

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