Why .Cymru Has Potential to Promote Wales to the World; ASSEMBLY READY TO EMBRACE NEW TOP-LEVEL DOMAIN NAMES

Article excerpt

Byline: MATT WITHERS

THE National Assembly will switch to new internet domains .cymru and .wales if they are introduced, it said yesterday.

Last month First Minister Carwyn Jones and Business Minister Edwina Hart backed a bid from not-for-profit internet registry Nominet for Wales to have the top-level internet domain names.

Nominet has now submitted the bids to Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann).

It follows a decision last year by the body responsible for managing domain names on the internet to increase the number of internet domain name endings.

Yesterday the Assembly Commission, the body which oversees the running of the Assembly, said it would change its own web addresses to assembly.

wales and cynulliad.

cymru, if they were introduced.

Presently its addresses are assemblywales.org and cynulliadcymru.

org. Peter Black, the Liberal Democrat AM who is also the Assembly Commissioner responsible for IT, made the announcement during a Plaid Cymru opposition debate in the Senedd calling on the Commission to adopt the two domain names as soon as practicable.

He said: "I have to say, having spent an afternoon at the Nominet headquarters in Oxford I was very impressed with the operation that they do have there, and in particular I have confidence that, as an organisation, they're best placed to take forward the .wales and .cymru domain name.

"Not only do they have the experience and the administrative base for the registration regime which is going to be required to ensure that this is successful, they also have the infrastructure and of course they have the finance and the resources necessary to make sure that if Icann, as we all hope, grants us the use of .wales and .cymru that they'll be able to take forward those domain names and market them successfully across Wales and outside of Wales and make a success of them."

He said it was also important that Nominet had stated it would open an office in Wales, operating bilingually, and would distribute any surplus income to good causes in Wales.

"I also think it's important in terms of these domain names that the Commission... takes the lead on this, because I do think there is a significant demand for the use of .Wales or .Cymru amongst the third sector and civic society in Wales as well as... amongst businesses as well.

"The Commission does support the Welsh Government's application to register the toplevel domains and we're very much interested in moving to use these as and when they become available. …