French characters now available for .ca domains

January 17, 2013  |  Russ Martin  |  Comments

Companies can now register .ca domain names with French accents thanks to new rules announced by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA).

Prior to this change, only letters, numbers and hyphens could be be included in .ca domain names. CIRA, the not-for-profit that manages these domains, will now allow users to register domains using the French language’s full range of characters, which includes special characters such as accents.

A CIRA press release offered examples of the new characters available: – é, ë, ê, è, â, à, æ, ô, œ, ù, û, ü, ç, î, ï, ÿ.

LOreal.ca, for example, could become LOréal.ca if it chose to do so. Similarly, Quebecois brands like CinéStarz, Hydro-Québec and F. Ménard can now register domains that are in line with their French branding.

“This is great news for owners of .ca domains and their website visitors, because it means that domain names can precisely match names, businesses and trademarks,” said Bryon Holland, president and CEO of CIRA.

CIRA is also offering bundle packages to simplify its domain naming process, noting that the new character options means there are now more variations available for French URLs – one word could be spelled a number of ways, with our without special characters.

Under the new rules, the person who registers a special-character domain is automatically given the rights to register all of its variants.

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