18(a) Describe the mission/purpose of your proposed gTLD
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|.corsica||Collectivité Territoriale de Corse||View|
The .corsica TLD will be a community-based TLD aimed at the population of Corsica, the Diaspora of Corsicans around the world, and the wider community of individuals and business owners, wherever they may be, who feel an attachment to the island of Corsica, its culture, heritage or language. In total, the global community of individuals and business owners with a direct attachment to and⁄or interest in a Corsican identity is estimated to be close to 1 million.
The purpose of the .corsica TLD can be summarized as follows:
- To give Corsicans a new means of identifying and promoting their activities via the Internet under a top-level domain which has a clear significance to them.
- To promote the development of email services under the .corsica TLD aimed at anyone who may have an affinity with the island of Corsica.
- To boost the visibility and promotion of this region of the Mediterranean Basin and all that it has to offer in terms of its cultural and economic via the Internet.
- To respond to the public desire to create a repository of Corsica’s immaterial cultural heritage on the Internet.
- To pursue the region of Corsica’s multi-year strategy to centralise Corsica’s presence on the Internet initiated with the acquisition of the cors.fr, corsica.fr and corsica.eu domain names.
The island of Corsica is very much part of France, yet it is a region with a history, linguistic tradition and unique cultural heritage that make it quite unique. Located in the Mediterranean Sea, southeast of mainland France, west of Italy and north of the Italian island of Sardinia, Corsica has an ancient history stretching back to the Mesolithic period, and its cultural heritage is the product of successive periods of colonization over the centuries, by the Greeks, Romans, the Genonese and the Franks.
For modern-day Corsicans, cut off as they are from the mainland France and Europe, the Internet has become a critical means of exchange and trade with the rest of the world. Investments from the Regional Government of Corsica, the French Government and the European Union have served to build up critical Internet infrastructures and ensure that the population of Corsica, which includes remote mountain communities, is almost entirely ADSL connected.
The current application for the .corsica TLD is viewed by the Regional Government of Corsica as the logical continuation of a strategy to harmonize the naming policies of the main public administrations of the island, and offer the people of Corsica a new TLD with which they can clearly identify.
A tool for organising ‘Corsican’ content on the Internet
There is a sizeable volume of information on the Internet containing the words ‘Corsica’ or ‘Corse’. A simple search using Google will typically result in 30 to 40 million pages. It is also clear that interest in the subject of Corsica remains constantly high with an annual pattern of searches peaking during the summer months and the tourist season (source: Google Trends). Finally, there are, according to domain name searching services in excess of 380 000 websites under various TLDs containing the word ‘corse’ or ‘corsica’.
These search trends and volume data speak to the rationale for creating the .corsica TLD. It is expected that the new TLD will serve Corsicans who wish to give greater prominence to the cultural or geographical origin of their Internet sites, and it will provide Internet users with an interest in the region with an additional marker aimed at facilitating Internet navigation.
Corsica’s digital agenda
The regional government of Corsica has been promoting a vigorous digital agenda since the end of the 1990s. Internet access and the promotion of the region and its economic and cultural assets via the Internet has been viewed as essential for the economic development of this relatively small, insular Mediterranean region. It has been given full political support across party lines and it has involved ensuring that the entire population of Corsica is ADSL connected.
In March 2005, the Regional government of Corsica launched the ʺCorsica Hotspotʺ initiative, with a view to ensuring ubiquitous free access to wireless Internet in public places. Today, some 80 Corsica Hotspot are operational throughout the Corsica, including cafes, hotels, marinas, airports, stations, the University of Corsica, Hotels, town halls, cultural centers, theaters, village squares, associations, etc.. As a result of this initiative connectivity across the island has gained is consistency and finesse.
Milestones on road towards the .corsica TLD
February 2005: The Corsican Parliament (Assemblee de Corse) voted, on 25th February 2005, in favour of the adoption of a multi-year strategy regarding the acquisition and use of domain names on the Internet. Since then the Regional Government of Corsica (Collectivité Territoriale de Corse) has overseen the implementation of the different phases of the project including the acquisition of the corsica.fr, corsica.eu and corse.eu domain names. The ultimate phase of this strategy was to obtain the .corsica Top Level Domain (TLD).
March 2011: The Corsican parliament votes in favour of undertaking all the steps necessary to obtain and manage the .corsica TLD. (Déliberation no. 11⁄147 de l’Assemblée de Corse Approuvant la démarche d’obtention et d’exploitation du nom de domaine sur Internet .corsica; séance du 24 juin 2011).
Internet access in France
France is one of the most connected countries in the world with sustained levels of growth. In 2012 more than 40 million people out of a total population of 60 million had access to the Internet, or 6% more than 2011. Internet users are also increasingly frequently connected: almost two thirds of the French population connect to the Internet on a daily basis. The most notable growth areas are:
Booming e-commerce: Buying online is attracting an ever greater number of French shoppers. The frequency of online purchasing has also increased. In 2011, more than half the population of France, all socio-economic categories included and regardless of place of residence, used the internet for purchasing goods or services.”
Booming mobile Internet access: Rapid growth with 19 million mobile users by the end of 2011, i.e. 3.5 million more than a year previously (+23%). Mobile Internet users are increasingly female, younger and more provincial. The spread of smart phones and the diversity of offers operators contribute to the changing profile of mobile internet users.
Growing consumer confidence: Confidence in e-commerce continues to rise: 66.5% of French Internet users have confidence in online shopping, a 7% increase on the previous year. Online shoppers are increasingly female with a 15% increase in the number of women shoppers per year. The populations of regions of France, including Corsica, account for a significant part of the growth in e-shoppers, with a 14% annual growth rate between 2011 and 2012.
As e-commerce grows in importance in years to come and as rapid and assured brand recognition becomes increasingly important, the new .corsica TLD is expected to play a critical role in promoting Corsican goods and services. Over time, the adoption and strict implementation of the .corsica TLD Users Charter will ensure that the ‘Corsica’ brand is associated with quality of content as well as quality of service. It is expected to play a significant role in boosting consumer trust and choice.
The Regional Government of Corsica is committed to ensuring that the initial investments required to set up and run the TLD are paid off in terms increased e-commerce returns on investment for the region.
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