Friday, 16 December 2011
For many years the company ‘dotCYM Ltd’ has been working to establish ‘*’.cymru as a top level domain on the web. In spite of being ready to do this for some time they have now learned that the Welsh Government apparently has no interest in the .cymru suffix for domains based in Wales, controlled from within Wales. Instead they are happy to allow Nominet, the company that controls the .co.uk domain suffix, to go ahead with developing a .wales suffix owned by them and controlled from outside Wales. According to dot.CYM Ltd the situation changed when Edwina Hart, the Labour minister in the Welsh Government, was given responsibility for the project and she “refused to talk to or meet dotCYM and the civil servants approached Nominet to bring them into the game”. Further they claim that the Welsh Government has no interest in doing anything except for giving one applicant the letter of no objection that is needed as part of the application to ICANN for a new domain suffix and that "It is unheard of for a Government to show so little interest in its own top-level domain". They cite the fact that "The London, Scottish, Basque, Galician and Breton Governments are working very close with their local applications for their names online.” So it appears that the current administration in Cardiff not only has no interest in promoting the .cymru domain suffix, but are also happy to allow Nominet to take ownership of the proposed .wales suffix on the grounds that it will be cheaper to let them do it rather than maintain control within Wales. This does seem to be a strange state of affairs and it certainly a kick in the teeth for dot.CYM Ltd who have grown the idea of a Welsh domain suffix over a number of years. However well-disposed Nominet may or may not be towards Wales, the idea of letting a company in England have the Welsh domain suffix at their disposal seems odd to say the least. Applications to ICANN, the international domain name controllers, are due by 6 January and, with dot.Cym Ltd having been sidelined by the Welsh Government and unable to raise the necessary cash to put in an alternative bid in time, it looks like the forces of bureaucratic convenience have won both over the aspirations of idealism and simple common sense. Not for the first time. But in this case in a particularly wooden-headed way.
More information available at the dot.Cym website : http://www.dotcym.org/home/ or on their twitter page @dotcymru