| Sponsored top-level domain|
Catalan linguistic and cultural community
.cat ([ˈpunt 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 matter, in September 2005 the .cat TLD was approved, designed to meet the wishes and needs 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 prefer it to 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 Spanish Catalonia. 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.
Despite the restrictions, the domain has been exploited for feline-related domain hacks.
Following the success of the .cat domain, other language and culture-based domain names have emerged, such as .eus and .gal for the Basque language and culture (Euskadi) and the Galician language and culture (Galicia), respectively, as well as the .bzh domain-name dedicated to the Breton language and culture in Brittany.