The registry that manages the .cat Foundation is the first worldwide domain that represents language and culture on the Internet.
"Catalan will be digital or it will not be". With these words, Francesc Giralt, head of the Fundraising Projects Area of the puntCat Foundation, explains how this entity manages the "penetration and internationalization of the .cat domain on the Internet at a high level".
"This is a domain that identifies Catalonia and the whole set of Catalan speakers in all of the territories where it is spoken," Giralt said. The Foundation acts as a catalyst to promote Catalonian identity and the normalization of the use of Catalan on the Internet.
The mission of .cat is to promote Catalan-speaking society, to work towards accelerating the dissemination of .cat to the Catalan-speaking territories (as well as to the rest of the world), and to position themselves into digital society in order to have a stronger presence and ultimately, to form a country.
"We want to reach more people so that the Catalan language plays an even more relevant role on the Internet", explains Giralt. Currently, there are about 110.000 .cat domains, and more than 12% of these domains are located outside of Catalan-speaking territories. "The task of internationalization of the .cat is taking on importance", emphasizes Giralt. For now, the countries where the numbers for .cat have grown are France, Canada, and the United States.
The .cat domain emerged in 2005 as a result of a private initiative within the Catalan-speaking community. 14 years later, this entity stands as a technological and linguistic reference on the Internet through three lines of work: technology, language and culture, and country.
".Cat domain is allowing Catalan culture to breathe. It is an instrument that since its' foundation has been used to unite language, country, and technology. All of this combined with innovation", says Giralt.
Giralt also claims that without innovation the goals set by 2021 cannot be achieved. They are striving to increase accessiblity to .cat as well as to add value to the domain.
Today, this domain has a significant presence for Catalan-speakers, Catalan territories, and Catalan homes abroad, as well as on the Internet for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). "We want to be present in all global domains", emphasizes Giralt.
However, the .cat Foundation goes beyond promoting Catalan on the Internet and gaining territory. Their main goal is to create a digital syndicate that will protect the language, create a digital community, and to develop an Online School to learn Catalan on the Internet. Among other projects carried out by .cat, Giralt highlights those financed with the benefits of .cat, such as local commerce and the internationalization of the foundation.
At the moment, the presence of Catalan on the Internet is very remarkable. Catalan is already the eighth language in the world with more accessibility on the Internet, and 9 of the 10 most-consulted websites in Catalonia already have a version in Catalan.