||[ Sunday, 18 Sep 05 | 15:49 ]
The Internet's key oversight agency, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), approved a domain name for the Catalan language Thursday.
.cat suffix for individuals, organizations and companies that promote the Catalan language and culture was relatively uncontroversial. Though the language is spoken largely in certain regions of Spain (namely Catalunya), backers say a domain name could unify Catalan speakers who live in France, Italy, Andorra and elsewhere. The name could begin appearing in use next year.
As you probably know, Barcelona is the capital of Catalunya.
ICANN was selected by the U.S. government in 1998 to oversee Internet addressing policies, although the US Commerce Department retains veto power over decisions. More than 260 domain name suffixes exist, mostly country codes such as
.fr for France. Recent additions include
.eu for the European Union and
.mobi for mobile services. The suffix
.xxx for porn sites was rejected.