In Wales, we’re blessed with two languages. And just as in life, it’s only fitting that both are equally represented on the internet. So among many thousands of Welsh people, I was thrilled at the launch of the .cymru and .wales domains a year ago.
They were extremely popular from the off, selling over 1,000 in the first hour. Among the first to sign up were some of the pillars of our nation, including the National Assembly for Wales, national broadcaster S4C and the Welsh Rugby Union.
Now, it seems amazing to think they haven’t always been with us, since they’ve so quickly become very much part of the fabric of online life both in Wales, and among anyone with any interest in Wales around the world. Since they were launched, that early success has grown as a wide variety of businesses, organisations and individuals have taken the opportunity to celebrate their provenance online.
The Welsh domains have been supported by Sport Wales, the Federation of Small Businesses Wales, the Scarlets rugby team, the Millennium Stadium and the Arts Council for Wales. As well as Golwg360, Bloc, Gwalia, Atlantic PLC, Orchard and Portmeirion, to name just a few. In short, the internet is now a lot more Welsh than it was a year ago.
That in itself is proof, if it were ever needed, that it was right to create the domains. There’s a clear demand, and it gives Welsh people and businesses, not just those in our homeland, but around the world, the chance to assert their identity online.