A Parti Quebecois member of Quebec’s National Assembly announced this week his petition for a Quebec-specific “.qc” domain, despite the fact, according to the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, that, under current laws, it would require that Quebec be deemed a country in its own right first.
“You can’t just walk up and request one,” David Hicks, director of marketing and communications with the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, said. “It’s a fairly involved process.”
It is the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) that doles these out, and they are governed by a large set of strict rules from the ISO. One of these is the ISO 31-66-1, which lays out the two-letter country codes as dictated by who the United Nations deems an official country.
“There’s no .qc on there. And to get a two-letter code, you have to go to the standards body to get reclassified as a country,” said Hicks. Daniel Turp’s petition includes the statement that “Quebec and Quebec citizens should be able to endow themselves with their own identity and a visible presence on the map.”
Petitioners would be, according to the petition, “in favor of the creation of a provincial extension, .qc, that would be unique to Quebec and that would be applicable to domain names of the first level.”
It also argues that a precedent has been set by the autonomous Spanish region Catalonia, which has its own .cat domain. It was “established to serve the needs of the linguistic community and Catalan culture,” according to the petition.
Currently, he said, the government intranet uses this designation already. Also, the petition points out, Quebec has higher Internet usage rates (at 71.5 per cent) than France (54.7 per cent), the United Kingdom (62.3 per cent), Canada as a whole (66 per cent) and the Swiss (67.8 per cent), according to a Centre francophone d’informatisation des organizations study.