Businesses operating in Wales will go straight to the front of the queue for the new .cymru and .wales domain names from today. For those keen to promote their association with Brand Wales, applications open at midday on 3 November and close at midday on 24 December 2014.
Advertising / marketing materials, websites, stationery and photographs can all be used by businesses to show that they are eligible for the domain name and that they actively use it in Wales, or a signed declaration by a UK solicitor or a trademark lawyer. If there is more than one valid application for the same domain name then it will be subject to an auction. Full details of the validation process are here.
The new .cymru and .wales domains have already started going live. The Welsh Assembly was the first to switch on its new domains last month. Strong backing has come from many organisations, including the Welsh government, S4C, Sport Wales, the Federation of Small Businesses Wales, the Scarlets rugby team, the Welsh Rugby Union, the Millennium Stadium, the Arts Council for Wales, Golwg360, Bloc, Gwalia, Atlantic PLC, Orchard and Portmeirion.
While Welsh businesses are opting for the new domains to underline their Welsh connections, researchhas shown that 70% of Welsh consumers also express a preference for .cymru and .wales over other popular domains such as .com.
From 29 December 2014, anyone can apply for domain names that haven’t been registered in the earlier phases. Domain names that receive more than one application will go to auction.
General availability begins on St David’s Day, March 1st 2015.
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