In the summer of 2008, we mentioned that Flanders would get an own personal extension, .vla. However, today DataNews reported that the plans for this own domain are put on hold. There are several reasons for this decision.
For example a personal extension will cost a lot of money. Moreover there seems to be very little interest for .vla as a domain for Flanders. To measure this interest the Flemish government sent out questionnaires to both companies and individuals. They hardly received any answers what led to the conclusion that having an own personal extension isn’t a big issue for the Flemish people. Moreover, there have also been some perception studies which showed that the name ‘Flanders’ doesn’t mean that much on international scale.
‘Moreover there’s also a communitarian aspect,’ says an insider. ‘With a .vla managed by the government, one might think that Flanders already states itself as independent digitally.’
Of course the government doesn’t have a monopoly on the own extension for Flanders. If the Flemish government won’t file an application for a personal extension for Flanders, others still can do so. According to DataNews, several external parties already stated they’re interested in setting up and running an extension for Flanders.
However, if they want to do so, there’s only little time left. In May next year the applications need to be filed. Moreover the Spanish Valencia is also showing interest in a personal extension. They’re interested in .val. If Valencia files an application before Flanders does, it’s very well possible that .vla will never become a personal extension. This decision is up to ICANN (the party which will treat the applications for personal extensions). If ICANN would decide that both extensions look too much alike and that there can be a confusion about this, .vla will be off the table, if Valencia files their application first.
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This post was written by lieve on November 10, 2010