The government of Quebec decided at the last moment the cost was too great to move their domain names from .qc.ca to .quebec, but the Scottish government has decided the cost is not so great for their independence online.
This week the Scottish government commenced the move from .gov.uk to .scot for its websites, although to date only the home page resolves to a .scot domain while any links still go to .gov.uk websites.
It follows the Scottish referendum that was comprehensively lost in September, 55 percent to 44. But since then support for the Scottish National Party has grown significantly and now while not achieving independence, the Scottish government now has its own independence online.
“Using the .scot domain as our primary web address will be a visible symbol of the Scottish Government’s online presence and our involvement with the worldwide family of Scots who choose to express their identity or affinity online,” said Deputy First Minister John Swinney.
“The expansion of the number of top-level internet domains in recent times gives users many more options to brand themselves in new ways online – and we’re delighted to lead by example.
“Users will see the new web address on our site straight away but other changes to the infrastructure, including new email addresses for Scottish Government staff, will be introduced in a phased and structured way to ensure no one is inconvenienced.”
In Quebec, another with its own separatist supporters, the provincial government was set to take advantage of the province’s own gTLD but decided that for now an additional C$12 million of public funds, in addition to the $1.6 million it had already spent, could be better spent in light of budget cuts.
Governments are a great advocate with their websites viewed by a wide range of people across the community. Just like the Scottish government moving to the .scot is a huge benefit for the country’s gTLD, the decision of Quebec’s government is a major blow to getting visibility among the public and business.
General Availability for .scot commenced in September 2014 and there are now 8,300 registrations while GA commenced for .quebec two months later in November and it now has almost 9,000 registrations.