Feeds

Welsh factions clash over .cymru and .wales bids

English cash required? Oh, cym on now

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

A grassroots move to create .cymru as a new top-level internet domain has hit a roadblock after the Welsh government backed a .wales bid managed by an English company.

Oxford-based Nominet, which runs the .uk registry, has been mulling a new Welsh extension for the last few months, according to director of finance Glenn Hayward.

But dotCYM, a small Wales-based organisation that has been campaigning for a Welsh internet extension with government backing, says ministers are now refusing to return its calls.

Compounding dotCYM's frustration, First Minister Carwyn Jones has publicly indicated that he prefers ".wales" to ".cymru", in order to appeal to businesses internationally.

The dispute emerged after global domain name overseer ICANN said in June that it will allow any organisation to apply for a new generic top-level domain (gTLD) early next year.

Many cities and regions have said they plan to bid. Nominet has already said it wants to apply for .london, for example, though it faces competition from other companies.

dotCYM has been campaigning for a Welsh gTLD for about five years, according to its technical director Maredudd ap Gwyndaf. The group originally intended to apply for .cym, but had to change its plans after realising that the string "CYM" was on one of ICANN's reserved names lists.

Because it would have been pronounced "dot cum", it also risked failing ICANN's confusing similarity test, due to the prevalence of existing .com domains.

But now it seems more likely that the Welsh government will throw its backing behind a .wales bid managed by Nominet from England, due to the high cost of applying.

ICANN's application fees start at $185,000, and earlier this month business minister Edwina Hart (Labour) said that the government would not fund a new Welsh gTLD bid.

It will, however, provide ICANN with the letter of support or non-objection that is required before the domain overseer will consider approving a geographic domain extension.

Nominet has confirmed it will self-fund its gTLD bid, and will donate excess profits to Wales-based community projects in much the same way as its Nominet Trust does with profits from .uk sales.

This may be the final nail in the coffin of the dotCYM initiative.

David versus Goliath

"As you can imagine it would be impossible for us to compete against a large, rich, well-connected company such as Nominet when there's no political will in Wales to ensure that the Welsh TLD is owned and run by the Welsh," dotCYM's ap Gwyndaf told El Reg.

Hart's predecessor, former Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones (Plaid Cymru) had supported .cymru and granted dotCYM £20,000 in government seed funding in 2008.

"It's another embarrassing example of Wales lacking the confidence and understanding to run things themselves and running over the border for help," ap Gwyndaf said.

"We're a membership organisation," Nominet's Hayward said. "Within that membership we have over 100 members based in Wales and 300,000 .uk domains registered in Wales."

He said that Nominet does not know whether it will apply for .cymru or .wales.

"We don't see it as a decision for Nominet," he said. "It's something the Welsh government very much needs to take the lead on."

During First Minister's Questions on 8 November, Carwyn Jones was asked (in Welsh) if he would confirm his support for .cymru as opposed to .wales.

"No," Jones replied, according to the Welsh Assembly record. "It is exceptionally important that we secure the domain name that will give the best economic boost to Wales."

ICANN's application window is open between 12 January and 12 April next year. It could be many years before it starts a second application round.

Nominet currently has no plans to apply for a Scottish gTLD, according to Hayward, though there are other moves afoot to create a .scot space. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
What FTC lawsuit? T-Mobile US touts 10GB, $100 family-of-4 plan
Folks 'could use that money for more important things' says CEO Legere
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.