Should we expect a .scot domain name?

With the Scottish referendum fast approaching, currency, the European Union, the NHS, taxation and education have all been discussed at great length – but what about domain names?

According to Stuart Fuller, director of commercial operations at NetNames, the online brand protection specialist:

“Currently Scotland, as part of the UK, has as much right to claim .UK as its top level domain as anyone in Wales, England or Northern Ireland. However, independence would undoubtedly fuel a conversation about what would be next for Scotland’s domain name space and whether Scotland should have its own County Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD).

“A ccTLD is generally used, or reserved, for a country, a sovereign state, or a dependent territory. As Scotland is currently a nation within the UK, it doesn’t qualify for the right to have its own domain name. Should it decide to cede from the union, it could start the wheels in motion to have its own two digit ccTLD. However, 22 out of the possible 26 combinations for a .S something are already in use and only .SF, .SP, .SQ or .SW are left – .SC is already assigned to the Seychelles.

“.SCOT will soon be in the public domain name space as an alternative. The timing of the launch of the new domain name, with general availability due to start just a few days after the referendum result, is no coincidence. Should Scotland vote ‘yes’ next week, there will need to be careful consideration as to whether an independent country would adopt .SCOT as its digital identity or start the process of establishing its own ccTLD.”

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