Page last updated at 10:53 GMT, Sunday, 14 December 2008

Salmond backing DotScot web name

dot scot webpage
Mr Salmond thinks the "time is ripe" for a Scottish internet domain name

Scotland should have its own internet domain name, First Minister Alex Salmond has said.

Ministers aim to create a Scottish web domain - ".scot" or ".sco" - and have set up a working group.

The group is making preparations to bid for a new domain in 2009, when the body responsible for internet naming will invite applications for new ones.

Mr Salmond is visiting the Spanish region of Catalonia, which has its own ".cat" domain name.

During his Barcelona visit, the first minister will hear about the success of Catalonia's generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) name.

'Extensive diaspora'

The .cat domain has been operating successfully for more than two years and has attracted about 30,000 registrations.

Mr Salmond said: "The time is ripe for the worldwide family of Scots to have their own domain reflecting an online community defined by a shared commitment to Scottish identity, culture and economic promotion.

"It is not only for Scots who live in Scotland but for our extensive Diaspora and it will be particularly appropriate for a bid to be made during the 2009 Year of Homecoming."

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the international body responsible for the domain name system, is to invite applications for new gTLDs during 2009.

The Scottish Government has set up a working group to prepare the ground for a bid.

Research carried out by the Office of the Chief Researcher suggests the majority of Scottish organisations and institutions (58%) backed the principle of a Scottish domain.

An international survey indicated even stronger support, with 82% in favour.

In both samples the research suggested that .scot was the preferred choice.

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