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The Scottish Domain Name Conundrum

September 15, 2014

Should the good folks of Scotland choose independence in the upcoming referendum, among the thorny issues the country may face relates to domain names.

A referendum on whether Scotland should be an independent country will occur this Thursday, 18 September 2014. Currently, the potential outcome of the vote is not clear. Various recent surveys arrive at different conclusions regarding the state of the campaign.

If the outcome is "Yes", then the move to independence may be a great source of national pride, but it won't all be beer and skittles (or the Scottish equivalent thereof).

Among the issues is what will the country use as a domain name?

According to a Bloomberg report, 22 out of the possible 26 combinations for a domain extension beginning with .S are spoken for. Only .SF, .SP, .SQ or .SW remain. What would probably be considered the best combination, .SC, is already assigned to the Seychelles.

However, it's an ill wind that blows nobody any good. The operators of the new generic Top Level Domain, .SCOT, could well be very, very happy about the situation. 

.SCOT, operated by Dot Scot Registry, isn't restricted to residents of Scotland or companies operating in the country. That combined with a Yes vote could see .SCOT domains becoming quite sought after.

The .SCOT gTLD was officially launched on July 15 and the first .SCOT site to go live was - a Highlands based ISP.

Only a handful of .SCOT domains are currently live and are referred to as pioneers. According to Dot Scot Registry, only 32 .SCOT domain names will be operational until the approved Sunrise/Landrush .SCOT General Launch occurs on 23rd September this year.

The Scottish Government has backed the non-profit Dot Scot Registry as "it shares the belief that the .scot TLD should be a community-based public resource rather than a private asset".

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