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Nominet announces availability of Welsh domains

Nominet has announced Welsh domain addresses will be available to register from September 1 for those with a registered trademark and from March 1, 2015, anyone else can register a domain with the suffix.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has given Nominet the authority to distribute domains ending in .cymru and .wales, allowing Welsh citizens to "demonstrate their Welsh identity, language and culture online."

From early autumn, trademark holders can register for a Welsh domain. 60 days after the application, businesses will be told whether they have been granted the domain or if there's a contention set, meaning more than one person has applied for the rights to the domain. If this happens, businesses will need to prove they are using the domain in Wales. If more than one company can prove they use the trademark in Wales, it will go to auction.

From winter this year, companies can apply for their domains without proving eligibility, or trademark rights. From Spring 2015, anyone can apply for a .wales or .cymru domain on a first come, first served basis.

Ourhomeonline.org, the official information site for the suffixes says there are a number of business benefits to having a Welsh domain, including that all profits from registering the .cymru and .wales domain names are re-invested directly back into internet related projects in Wales.

"Whether you’re a blogger from Bangor or you just want to show off your national pride in Pontypridd with a new email address, then getting your hands on the dots is the best way to do it," the website said. "Joining our home online could also help you shorten your existing URL or email address."

Business Minister Edwina Hart said: "The new domains have the potential to bring significant economic benefits to Wales. They will strengthen Wales's global identity, promote business growth and encourage the exploitation of digital technologies across all sectors".

First minister for Wales, Carwyn Jones explained: "The new domain names create a fantastic opportunity for Wales that support development of businesses, communities and the Welsh language online,” he said. “It means we could use the top level domain names to establish a strong online presence, which truly reflects our national identity."


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