|TLD type||Sponsored top-level domain|
|Intended use||Catalan linguistic and cultural community|
|Registered domains||51,844 (November 2011)|
|Registration restrictions||Screening is done both before and after registration to ensure registrants are part of applicable community|
|Structure||Direct second-level registrations are allowed|
|Documents||ICANN New sTLD RFP Application|
|Dispute policies||UDRP, Charter Eligibility Dispute Resolution Procedure (CEDRP), Compliance Reconsideration Policy (CRP)|
.cat (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈpun ˈkat]) is a sponsored top-level domain intended to be used to highlight the Catalan language and culture. Its policy has been developed by ICANN and Fundació puntCAT. It was approved in September 2005.
Before .cat was available, and given the reluctance of certain Catalan institutions, companies and people to use .es, .ad, .fr, .it domains (depending on the state respectively) for their domains, alternatives emerged. An example of this was the website for the city of Girona in Catalonia, which preferred to use a .gi domain ("http://www.ajuntament.gi/", the word "ajuntament" meaning both "city council" and "town hall"), even though .gi is the country code for Gibraltar, instead of the corresponding .es as a Spanish local authority.
To solve this question, in September 2005 the .cat TLD was approved, intending to attend the claims of that part of the Catalan linguistic and cultural community on the Internet. This community is made up of those who use Catalan for their online communications, and/or promote the different aspects of Catalan culture online and refuse to use any other domain. The initial registration period went from February 13, 2006, to April 21, 2006. The registry was open to everybody starting April 23, 2006.
The .cat domain is not territorial, but applies to the whole Catalan-speaking community, whether or not a site is based in the Països Catalans. In order to be granted a .cat domain, one needs to belong to the Catalan linguistic and cultural community on the Internet. A person, organization or company is considered to belong if they either:
- already have content in Catalan published online.
- have access to a special code (sometimes called ENS), issued during special promotions or by agreements with certain institutions.
- develop activities (in any language) to promote the Catalan culture and language.
- are endorsed by 3 people or 1 institution already using a .cat domain name.
- (Catalan) Information and register process
- Peter Gerrand, 2006: 'Cultural diversity in cyberspace: The Catalan campaign to win the new .cat top level domain' (Issue 11:1)