Scotland is getting its own internet domain name, with both independence campaigning groups Yes Scotland and Better Together taking on the new .Scot suffix from today.
Other early adopters of the new domain include the Scottish government, NHS Scotland, and the Commonwealth Games legacy website legacy2014.scot – and more than 50 organisations are already signed up.
The domain will become available to anyone, living in Scotland or elsewhere, in September.
The .scot follows hot on the heels of .london after the internet domain registration group ICANN increased the number of top level domains available.
A number of countries make a significant profit on selling the top level domain names assigned to the country, such as Tuvalu with .tv which is widely used in the TV industry and Mauritius with .mu, a popular suffix for music industry websites.
The organisation entrusted with administering the domain name, Dot Scot Registry, will be run as a not for profit organisation however and any money raised will be put back into digital skills training in Scotland.
It’s hoped the new domain will help distinguish Scotland and Scottish businesses online.
Deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “It is entirely right that Scotland should have its own distinctive and recognisable Internet domain, in particular one that will resonate internationally, helping to promote Scottish business and culture throughout the world.”
Dot Scotland registry director Gavin McCutcheon said “Owning a .scot domain will allow people and organisations a new unique way to express their identity online. It’s a community domain intended for everybody who lives and works in Scotland, and for the 50 million people around the globe who are part of Scotland’s diaspora.
“It’s a chance for people here in Scotland, and for Scottish communities abroad, to allow build cultural and economic links as well as providing a strong Unique Selling Point for brands.”
Domain name registrar 1&1 Internet said there had already been strong demand for reserving .scot domains.