A fantast.ic new country code

Last week I wrote about the coming of IDNs (internationalized domain names).

But IDNs aren’t the only new country codes to keep your eyes on.

There is also the occasional new Latin-based ccTLD.

Like .IC.

The Canary Islands is looking to get a country code to raise its visibility.

That, and also to bring in a few million dollars in registration fees. Just imagine all the Bay Area startups that would relish a funky new combo-ccTLD name.

Plast.ic.

Elast.ic.

Bombast.ic.

Am I sounding a bit sarcast.ic?

Of course, the gap between asking for a ccTLD and actually getting one can be quite significant. First you have to be included in the ISO 3166-1 list of country codes.

According to Wikipedia, here’s how you do it:

Currently 246 countries, territories, or areas of geographical interest are assigned official codes in ISO 3166-1. According to the ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency (ISO 3166/MA), the only way to enter a new country name into ISO 3166-1 is to have it registered in one of the following two sources:[6]

To be listed in the bulletin Country Names, a country must either be:

The list of names in Country and Region Codes for Statistical Use of the UN Statistics Division is based on the bulletin Country Names and other UN sources.

Once a country name or territory name appears in either of these two sources, it will be added to ISO 3166-1 by default.

That last I checked, Canary Islands is not on either of these two lists.

That said, I have a feeling that the Canary Islands will get its wish, although it might take some time. The IC acronym has already been reserved on its behalf and the Islands would not be the first autonymous territory to get its own ccTLD. The rest is just lawyers, lobbying, etc.

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Author: John Yunker

John co-founded Byte Level Research in 2000 and is author of The Web Globalization Report Card. He also co-founder of Ashland Creek Press.

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