Getting “anchor tenants” for a new top level domain can be a challenge. However, in the case of .wales & .cymru it looks like the strings have hit a chord, if you’ll excuse the pun.
Last month during the opening ceremony of the ICANN meeting in London it was announced that the Welsh government would be switching over to the new extensions. Today comes the announcement that several high profile organisations are planning on making the switch.
S4C, the Welsh language TV channel; the National Assembly for Wales; Wales Federation of Young Farmers Club; Sport Wales; the Welsh Books Council and the Arts Council for Wales will all be using them to underline their Welsh identity online. The Welsh government announced its switch to .cymru and .wales just last month and some will be switching over as soon as the new domains go live in late autumn.
Switching is a logical move for many of these organisations, as S4C’s Digital Manager Huw Marshall noted “.cymru and .wales will enable Wales to make its mark on the online world and S4C want to not only play a part in that but be a key partner in bringing the Welsh language and our national identity to the digital world.”
The bilingual aspect of Wales and the two TLDs, one in Welsh and one in English is an interesting one. However this does not faze local politicians such as Presiding Officer, Dame Rosemary Butler AM:
The benefits to the promotion of a truly bilingual society in Wales should also not be overlooked and the creation of the .cymru domain is a clear opportunity to promote the Welsh language and Welsh cultural interests, on the internet. I am pleased that the National Assembly for Wales has taken a leading role in this development, by agreeing to be one of the ‘early adopters’ of the new domain names. As soon as technically possible after the official release of the domain names, the Assembly will change its domain name to cynulliad.cymru/assembly.wales.
You can find out more about .wales and .cymru on the official site.