The 'first' to represent Catalan on the internet.
.CAT is the first domain extension in the world to represent the Catalan language and culture on the Internet. This extension is a leading key element for publicizing Catalan culture around the world. . CAT identifies businesses and organizations as a Catalan entity that is focused on the Catalan market/Catalan-speaking market. In addition, by owning a .CAT, it will help you be in a better position on search engines like Google or Yahoo if your content is in Catalan or focused on the that market. Anyone who has a website where Catalan is present can use .CAT, without excluding other languages. Available at OpenSRS for $10 (first year registrations).
Who’s it for
- The Catalan culture and communities
- The 4 European countries where Catalan is spoken: Spain, France, Italy and Andorra
What is it?
.cat is the first domain in the world to represent a language and a culture on the Internet: in this case, Catalan.
It is a generic top-level domain (gTLD) similar to .com or .org but, unlike these, it is aimed at a specific community: Catalan-speakers. A crosssectional community formed by everyone who expresses themselves in Catalan and also those who want an address in our language.
.cat is a leading key element for publicising Catalan culture around the world. Anyone who has a website where Catalan is present can use .cat, without excluding other languages. Companies, groups or individuals who, although they do not have a website in Catalan, offer content related to our language and culture can also use .cat domains.
In the business world, .cat is a tool for doing business, making it possible to address a much better defined marked and adapt messages and products to it. Currently, 57,9% of websites with a .cat domain belong to businesses or professionals.
Like all domains, it can be used for anything: websites, e-mail, ftp, etc. Under the regulations, the Fundació puntCAT cannot sell .cat domains directly, it has to do it via registrar companies. About thirty domain registrars around the world currently sell the .cat domain.
In about 1995, the Catalan-speaking Internet-user community – one of the most active in the world – began to wonder “Why don’t we have our own domain to represent us on the net?” Taking the opportunity provided by the assignment of domains to communities opened up by the institution that regulates Internet domains (ICANN – the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), on 16 March 2004 the Associació puntCAT presented the candidature of the .cat domain. It received the explicit support of 98 organisations and associations, 2,615 companies and 65,468 people from everywhere Catalan is spoken and from all sectors of culture and activity, figures never before achieved by any other candidature. This significantly contributed to the success of the bid. The .cat domain was approved by ICANN on 16 September 2005, the result of a private initiative by the Catalan-speaking community. A few days later, the contract was signed between this body and the Fundació puntCAT, which has managed the .cat register ever since. During the following months, the technical configurations were carried out which led to putting .cat on the root (basic domain server) on 21 December 2005, with the first .cat domains in the register (www.cat, domain.cat, nic.cat...). The first .cat domain to exist was tan.cat, a little joke by the Fundació puntCAT engineers as the word “tancat” means closed or completed. The technical processes and agreements with registrars accredited by ICANN were concluded over Christmas and during January.
Finally, and in record time of five months, on Tuesday 13 February 2006, the .cat “sunrise” period began, a special restricted start-up time applying to all domains, and registration applications began to be confirmed. A few weeks later, on 23 April 2006, the “sunrise” period was over and everyone could register .cat domains.
Since then, .cat has simplified the registration processes so that now everyone can have a .cat in a matter of seconds. The price of registration has also been reduced by more than 70% and new services and features have been added.
Today, .cat is a strongly growing domain, internationally recognised and valued for the quality and value of the content provided by its websites and because of the fact there are very few problems with the .cat space.
Ever since it began, .cat has been a leading domain. For more than eight years, it has been the one and only domain devoted to a culture and a language, sowing the seeds of a more useful Internet which raises the profile of communities not backed by a State using their own domains. The new cultural and linguistic domains (.gal, .eus, .bzh, .quebec, .scot...), which are coming into operation from 2014 have been inspired by the .cat domain.
In addition, the Fundació puntCAT has been concerned to offer the best domains to its community, continually implementing the most innovative technologies. The .cat domain was the first to offer IDN from the very start: that means domains can be registered with names that include special characters from the Catalan language (à; ç; è é; í; ï; l·l; ò; ó; ú; ü). This has been fully operational from the very first day. Other technologies that make .cat one of the highest quality domains in the world is the fact that IPv6 addresses (the latest Internet operating protocol) are accepted on the DNS; it offers DNSSEC (extra security for websites where electronic transactions are carried out or which deal with sensitive data, and it makes a private whois available to individual owners of .cat domains, and, with it, the possibility of hiding the owner’s personal data without breaching ICANN regulations.
Number of users and development
In the latest figures for Febraury 2014, .cat has gone above 72,500 registrations. During its seven years of life, it has continued to grow thanks to society’s interest in having a digital identity under its own name and a gradual reduction in prices.
The average annual growth of the domain in its seven years of life is 21%, a figure that shows its consolidation. In 2012 .cat increased the number of registrations by 18%. This figure made .cat the second fastest growing domain in the world in percentage terms that year, behind only the .me of Montenegro.
On 24 January 2010, .cat broke the 40,000 domains barrier; on 19 May 2011 it reached 50,000 domains; on 30 November 2012 it achieved 60,000 and, on 5 November 2013, it got to 70,000. The growth trend is being maintained and the .cat domain also achieves annual renewal figures of more than 85%, one of the highest in the world of domains.
In 57,9% of cases, .cat websites are used by the business community, followed by organisations (19,4%), public bodies (12,1%) and individual users (10,6%).