Wales’ First Minister, Carwyn Jones, announced at ICANN London today that the Welsh Government plans to begin a switch of its official internet address from .gov.uk to .cymru and .wales from next year.
The Welsh government joins many high-profile organisations in its switch, some acting as soon as the new domains go live this September. Classical Brit Award winners and Britain’s favourite choir, Only Men Aloud also took to the stage at the conference pledging their support as founders of the programme; ensuring they will become the first performing artists to adopt a .cymru / .wales domain name.
The First Minister 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.
“I hope Welsh businesses and organisations will join us in the switch, helping to establish a global profile that reflects Wales’ unique identity, enabling us to create a recognisable Welsh community online.”
Rennie Fritchie, Chair of Nominet comments: “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. This move is a fitting celebration of the beginning of an online space that is truly Welsh.”
Our new domains, .cymru and .wales are coming this September and if you’re a holder of a trademark, you should act now to give yourself the best possible chance to secure the corresponding domain name, by submitting it to the Trademark Clearing House before the end of July. Everything you need to know about the trade mark process is here http://trademark-clearinghouse.com. Don’t worry if you don’t have a trademark though – if you are a business operating in Wales, there will be a further opportunity to secure domain names that match your business name or brand.