Considering the September launch of “.wales” and “.cymru” domain suffixes, the Welsh government has announced that it will drop the “.gov.uk” internet domain name in favour of something that will enhance its global presence like .cymru and .wales as soon as next year.
Addressing the 50th Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’ (ICANN) conference in London, Wales’ First Minister Carwyn Jones said “This is an exciting opportunity for Wales to have a distinct presence on the web and I am pleased that we have been able to join other high-profile organisations in leading the way with the switch to .wales and .cymru.”
“This provides us with an opportunity to set Wales apart online and promote the unique benefits of our country, both economically and culturally. By securing bilingual domain names we are also able to promote and encourage the use of the Welsh language online.”
The scheduled launch of the .wales and .cymru domains will start in September this year, with general availability to begin from spring 2015. Trademark holders have been urged to act immediately in order to secure the relevant domain names by submitting them to the Trademark Clearing House before the end of July. Other businesses or individuals can also get their domain names transferred to the new domains. The prices are expected to range from between £15 and £35 each.
Nominet, the non-profit registry which already runs the ‘.co.uk’ and now the ‘.uk’ domains, will be managing the new gTLDs as well.
“The Welsh Government has warmly endorsed .cymru and .wales right from the start and we are delighted that they have committed to making the switch,” commented Rennie Fritchie, chair of Nominet.
“This move is a fitting celebration of the beginning of an online space that is truly Welsh.”