The Canadian Internet Registration Authority, the organization that manages the .CA domain, now supports the use of all French characters in Canadian domain names. Canadians can now register their .CAs correctly in both official languages for the first time.
It is now possible for French .CA domain names to be spelled with the language’s full range of characters and ligatures: é, ë, ê, è, â, à, æ, ô, œ, ù, û, ü, ç, î, ï, ÿ. This is in addition to the letters z-s, numbers 0-9, and hyphens.
“This is great news for all Canadians because it means they can now use the .CA domain in Canada’s two official languages, French and English,” explains Byron Holland, CEO of CIRA. “This is also great news for owners of .CA domains and their website visitors because it means that domain names can precisely match names, businesses and trademarks.”
CIRA says that implementing French-language characters is a far more challenging and complex process than it may at first appear to be. For example, the domain préside.ca could have 62 different spelling variations depending on the choice of characters used, according to the organization. CIRA has developed "a number of policies and procedures to keep the process as simple and straightforward as possible."
One of the most important developments, the CIRA says, is the creation of a bundling policy that removes the necessity to register every special-character variant of an existing .CA domain. Whoever registers, or has already registered, a specific domain, is automatically granted an exclusive right to register all of its variants, but is under no obligation to do so, according to the organization. For example, only the owner of cira.ca will have the right to register cïra.ca and cîra.ca.