Wales split over country domain name

Domain registry firm Nominet has conducted a study of Welsh businesses and customers, asking if they felt the country should have its own domain names: .wales and .cymru.

Of the 1,003 indivuals polled, there was much support for the option of a separate TLD or Top-Level Domain for the country - but there was a split about which name to go with.

"On the consumer side there was a slightly higher preference for .cymru," Glenn Hayward, Nominet's director of business development told the BBC.

"Among businesses there was a much stronger preference for .wales to help them market themselves outside of the country."

Internet regulatory body ICANN has said that as of next year, countries can apply for domains based around the name of the country, though they plan to charge around $185,000 (£116,000) per application - a fact that has led Welsh business minister Edwina Hart to comment that she doesn't plan to go ahead with a registration for either domain name.

Nominet has put itself forward as a potential financial backer for the domain name creation, but it isn't the only one. Rival dotCYM is an organisation also pushing for a Welsh domain name, but claims that giving Nominet the driving seat would be tantamount to selling the country's identity.

Domain name additions don't come about very often, with the most recent newsworthy change coming in the form of adult-centric domain .XXX. Interestingly, though, with applications for the pornography-inspired domain now open, many of the early adopters are have turned out to be universities which don't want their name followed by XXX to be taken up by a porn site, making them appear linked in any way.