New Opportunity for Wales to position on global stage
It has been confirmed today that Nominet, the not-for-profit registry entrusted with the management of the .uk internet namespace, will take forward the application for a Top Level Domain (TLD) for Wales.
The application will be made to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the body responsible for evaluating the applications a wide range of communities, cities and brands who want their own domains on the internet to join the likes of .com and .co.uk.
Based on survey results and stakeholder dialogue, Nominet is applying for two TLDs - dot CYMRU and dot WALES. This will deliver domains that are inclusive of the whole community, bringing economic and cultural benefits and encouraging greater use of the Welsh language online.
Nominet is one of the world’s leading registries, with a successful track record of managing the .uk registry - the fourth largest in the world - for the past 15 years.
The Minister for Business, Enterprise, Technology and Science - Mrs Edwina Hart MBE OStJ AM - has today indicated in a statement that the Welsh Government is content for Nominet to take the case for the Welsh TLDs forward.
Glenn Hayward Director of Finance & Business Development of Nominet said: “This is a big opportunity for Cymru /Wales to define its space on the internet and maximise the distinct identity of the country in both languages – so we will apply for both Dot CYMRU and Dot WALES domains.
“We are confident that our proposed model will position Wales at the forefront of the digital world, by creating trusted high quality domains that provide a clear signpost to all aspects of Welsh society. It will provide consumers and businesses with an opportunity to express their identity and pride through a dedicated online space.
“Nominet believes that a combined bid for dot CYMRU and dot WALES offers the greatest benefits, and this has the full backing of the Welsh Government.”
Ieuan Evans MBE, who chairs the Nominet Wales Advisory Group, said: “Nominet is a not for profit organisation and one of the world’s most experienced and respected registries. They are committed to delivering this bid to ICANN.
He added “Nominet is clearly committed to supporting more use of the Welsh language on the internet and has already advised on how this can be achieved in relation to domain names policy. Now is the time for everyone in Wales to back this bid and to see Wales further represented on the international stage.”
Nominet will now make a formal bid to ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) for both dot WALES and dot CYMRU to be established. Nominet will work with the Welsh Government and consider the needs of Welsh businesses and consumers, and the range of geographical, cultural and linguistic communities who wish to have a stake in the project.
Alex Blowers, who will take the lead with the campaign moving forward and work closely with Wales Advisory Group, said: “We will engage widely and openly to develop policy and operational practices that will make these new domains really deliver for Wales. We welcome dialogue with the Welsh Government and the business community on matters of policy and governance.
“We have an experienced Advisory Group in Wales which has been instrumental in pulling this bid together and will continue to help us as we move forward into the application stage and flesh out our policies.”
Interviews available English /Welsh with
Glenn Hayward and Alex Blowers, Nominet Executive (English)
Ieuan Evans MBE (English & Welsh) –Chair of Nominet Advisory Group Wales (English and Welsh)
CONTACT Roy J Thomas at Positif 07767 486 939
Wales Advisory Group consists of Ieuan Evans (Chair); Lisa Francis; Andrew Davies; Clive Grace (Nominet Non Executive Board Member); and Aled Eirug.
Nominet believe they are uniquely placed to maximise the success of this most exciting initiative for Wales:
• Nominet been hugely successful in the role as the guardians of .uk. Top Level Domain (TLD) over the past 15 years.
• Nominet is a membership organisation Nominet operates to the highest standards of UK corporate governance, transparency in our business practices, and corporate social responsibility. Nominet is a leading player in UK and international internet governance and the ICANN community and are well-positioned to promote Wales' best interests in future debate and policy development.
• Nominet are renowned for the high quality and technical excellence of the registry operation. Nominet will exceed ICANN requirements and provide a resilient and reliable service for Wales.
• Nominet will apply customer service expertise and invest in the development of staff located in Wales including the provision of bilingual customer support.
Recent research commissioned by Nominet highlighted significant economic benefits that will be delivered by introducing well managed domains for Wales. Specific research and analysis, conducted by LE Wales. The main findings of the LE Wales study can be summarised as follows:
• Strong support from both businesses and consumers for a new TLD for Wales.
• Particularly strong opportunities to use the new TLD amongst businesses to brand ‘Wales’ to the world. Benefits in terms of strengthening the visibility and use of the Welsh language on the internet as a result of having a Welsh-speaking domain.
Demand from the business community is likely to reflect their chosen markets:
• The benefits for larger businesses of aligning with the Wales brand will be derived from marketing Wales, Welsh products and Welsh services both within and outside the country. Particularly significant opportunities have been identified in relation to tourism, cultural and creative industries, and farm produce/groceries. It has been put to us that the Wales ‘brand’ is less visible than it could be in overseas markets and that a Welsh TLD could help to address this. Given the higher recognition of Wales over Cymru overseas, this may also explain why LE Wales found a significant business preference for dot WALES over dot CYMRU.
• For smaller local businesses, a local market focus will be well served by a local domain extension. Trading levels for these businesses are likely to increase, given the local consumer preference argument. There may also be benefits of owning both a dot CYMRU and a dot WALES domain name.
As a not for profit company, Nominet surpluses are distributed for charitable purposes by an independent charitable trust, the Nominet Trust. Since 2008 Nominet has donated £20 million to the Trust. Nominet will establish a mechanism to ensure that surpluses generated by dot CYMRU and dot WALES are returned to the communities of Wales. Activities include maintaining the register of .uk domain names, and providing the technology that enables the resolution of .uk websites and email addresses.
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