The Canadian Internet Registration Authority, the organization that manages the .CA Internet domain, now supports the use of all French characters in .CA domain names, allowing Canadians to register their .CAs correctly in both official languages for the first time. Previously, the only characters that could be used in a .CA domain name were the letters a-z, the numbers 0-9 and hyphens.
When a domain name works with any characters beyond these, it’s called an Internationalized Domain Name (IDN). It is now possible for French .CA domain names to be spelled with the language’s full range of characters and ligatures: é, ë, ê, è, â, à, æ, ô, œ, ù, û, ü, ç, î, ï, ÿ.
“This is great news for all Canadians because it means they can now use the .CA domain in Canada’s two official languages, French and English,” said Byron Holland, President and CEO of CIRA. “This is also great news for owners of .CA domains and their website visitors because it means that domain names can precisely match names, businesses and trademarks.”
Implementing French-language characters is a far more challenging and complex process than it may at first appear to be. For example, the domain préside.ca could have 62 different spelling variations depending on the choice of characters used. CIRA has developed a number of policies and procedures to keep the process as simple and straightforward as possible.
One of the most important developments by CIRA is the creation of a bundling policy that removes the necessity to register every special-character variant of an existing .CA domain. Whoever registers, or has already registered, a specific domain, is automatically granted an exclusive right to register all of its variants, but is under no obligation to do so. For example, only the owner of cira.ca will have the right to register cïra.ca and cîra.ca.
Please visit the CIRA site for more information about the rollout of French-language characters for your .CA domain. CIRA is kicking off the launch of French-language domain names at a networking event tomorrow night in Montreal at the Hôtel Place d’Armes, 55, rue Saint-Jacques West.