The Scottish Government has given its support to an Inverness-based campaign calling for Scottish websites to be granted their own domain name in 2012.
Alex Neil, cabinet secretary for infrastructure, has written to Westminster communications minister Ed Vaizey asking him to support the non-profit Dot Scot Registry, who hope to have the suffix .scot at the end of Scottish domain names, instead of .co.uk.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a non-profit organisation that controls global domain names, decided this summer to increase the number of domain names from the current 22. Hundreds of bids are expected including .nyc, .london and .cymru.
Mr Neil said: “the Scottish Government is behind this company because we believe there is strong demand for a .scot domain and that it should be run as a public resource on a nonprofit basis that will quickly become self-financing.
“I am sure the UK government with its responsibility for internet governance will want to support us. Across the board support would undoubtedly strength our hand and build momentum behind the bid."
Continuing, he said that he felt “.scot will be a wonderful asset for establishing a distinctive online identity for many organisation and people who have been described as the world wide family of Scots and want to demonstrate that identity online.”
The move has gained the support of the Inverness Chamber of Commerce, which described the proposals as “welcome”.
Garry Clark, head of policy and public affairs for the Scottish Chambers of Commerce has also given his support telling STV: “I certainly think it will give the brand Scotland more identity."
“Anything we can do to push that strong brand is going to be extremely welcome in years to come."
ICANN declined to comment on the proposals.