ICANN has formally signed a contract giving domain addresses ending in .cymru and .wales the go-ahead, the .uk registry Nominet has announced. The agreement means that businesses and individuals will be able to register a .cymru or .wales domain name allowing them to demonstrate their Welsh identity, language and culture online.
A phased launch plan will begin on 1 September and allow those with a registered trade mark to benefit from first registrations in September of this year closely followed by businesses and organisations who can prove interests and use of a brand name in Wales even if they donât have a trademark. The final phase will see the addresses open up to everybody from 1 March 2015.
More information on the new .cymru and .wales domains is at www.ourhomeonline.org.uk/ and eincartrefarlein.org.uk/
In order to support their launch plans for .CYMRU and .WALES, Nominet has announced it intends to apply to become an ICANN accredited registrar.
Existing ICANN accredited registrars will be able to sell the new gTLDs, but are not obliged to do so.Â Given the scale of the gTLD expansion programme, -Â which will see consumers and businesses offered a choice of over 1,000 domain suffixes from 2013 -Â becoming an ICANN accredited registrar will guarantee a distribution channel for .CYMRU and .WALES.
In accordance with ICANN rules, this will involve the creation of a wholly-owned subsidiary.Â Nominet have no plans to sell other gTLDs (such as .com) through the subsidiary.
Nominet will also ask ICANN to review the current batching process to ensure that the Welsh applications are assessed together, and expect the issue of digital archery and batching to be discussed at next weekâs ICANN meeting in Prague.