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Independence is New gTLD Compatible

Independence must be a fashion of the moment. Cataluña, a place where I’ve lived, is fighting hard to be independent and, even if I don’t believe a second that this will ever happen, it is a common example of a community which fought hard, very early and by all means, to operate a new gTLD to clearly identify its culture (and Nation) on the Internet: the .CAT Top-Level domain. Note that this TLD has nothing to do with the .DOG nor .PET new gTLDs (joke).

Community TLDs

The .CAT new gTLD has more than 110,000 domain name registered and is today a clear representative of the .CAT culture on the Internet. It is a success too since such a number of registered domain names is significant for it seven and half million population. There were community TLDs too during the first round of the ICANN new gTLD program:

.BZH for the French Brittany;
.GAL for Galician society ;
.EUS for Basque Language and Culture Community;

Most of these TLDs’ domain name registration volumes are increasing.

Who’s next?

Two days ago, there was a referendum in Italy for two of the twenty administrative regions of Italy:

1) Lombardy (10 million people) and ;
2) Veneto (5 million).

Authorized by the Italien government, this referendum received more than 50% of participation and a 98% of yes for “more autonomy”. Unless I am wrong, something should be coming next… within the next few years: more independence maybe?

If I have absolutely no opinion on the question whether these regions should have more autonomy or not, I have one on the need of visibility for these communities. Cataluña has gained more identity recognition thanks to its .CAT domain name extension and the thousands of domain names that now offer a website in the Catalan language.

Time for .LOM and .VTO new gTLDs?

These regions are rich and it requires to be rich to operate a new gTLD. If planning for more autonomy does not happen in one day, it is something that can be prepared, and new domain name extensions clearly offer that, on the Internet at least.

The next Round of the ICANN new gTLD program should be coming in a few years and both Lombardy and Veneto, as regions, will have full authority to submit ICANN an application to become sole operators of their own domain names. Note that Veneto won’t be able to apply for a .VEN new gTLD since it is the ISO 3 code for Venezuela and the ICANN does not allow that.

By Jean Guillon, New gTLDs "only".

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