If we take a look at .cat, although it has fewer than 100,000 domains, it’s a great success. It offers an Internet identity to all Catalans and that’s amazing!
— Pat Kane
Vicepresident of Verisign (.com and .net)
The history of the Fundació puntCAT is linked to the history of the .cat domain
In about 1995, the Catalan-speaking Internet-user community – one of the most active in the world – began to wonder “Why don’t we have our own domain to represent us on the net?” On 16 March 2004 the Associació puntCAT, which was set up for the purpose, found the chance to present the candidature of the .cat domain, taking advantage of the fact that ICANN, the institution that regulates Internet domains, was opening up opportunities for assigning domains to communities. The .cat domain received the explicit support of 98 organisations and associations, 2,615 companies and 65,468 people from everywhere Catalan is spoken and from all sectors of culture and activity, figures never before achieved by any other candidature. This significantly contributed to the success of the bid. Once the domain had been applied for, the Associació puntCAT was wound up, giving way to the Fundació puntCAT, established in the Register of Foundations of the Government of Catalonia on 28 December 2004 in order to manage the .cat domain name register and, in general, promote the Catalan-speaking Information Society.
Approval of the .cat domain
The .cat domain was approved by ICANN on 16 September 2005, the result of a private initiative by the Catalan-speaking community. A few days later, the contract was signed between this body and the Fundació puntCAT, which has managed the .cat register ever since. During the following months, the technical configurations were carried out which led to putting .cat on the root (basic domain server) on 21 December 2005, with the first .cat domains in the register (www.cat, domain.cat, nic.cat...). The first .cat domain to exist was tan.cat, a little joke by the Fundació puntCAT engineers as the word “tancat” means closed or completed. The technical processes and agreements with registrars accredited by ICANN were concluded over Christmas and during January.
The start-up of .cat
Finally, and in record time of five months, on Tuesday 13 February 2006, the .cat “sunrise” period began, a special restricted start-up time applying to all domains, and registration applications began to be confirmed. A few weeks later, on 23 April 2006, the .cat domain register was finally opened to everyone, and the initial start-up period for .cat was complete.
If you want to find out more details about our history you can watch this video, published in December 2011, or look at the report on the first five years of the domain’s life.
The Fundació puntCAT has received various distinctions which we list here in order to thank all those who have given them to us, as well as the whole .cat community, without whose support we would not have achieved them:
Lluís Carulla Honorary Award
Pompeu Fabra Award
in the Communication and New Technologies section
Francesc Layret Award
Jaume I Award
Ramon Trias Fargas Award
Joan Coromines Award
in the Organisations section
Primera Plana Award
National Radio, Television, Internet and Telecommunications Award
in the Internet section