Right before the presentation of the Penedesfera, blogging journalist Saül Gordillo made a presentation of his book Nació.cat, about how the Catalan Countries managed to create its own so called generic top-level domain ".cat". The two letter combination .ct was out of the question, since this territory is not a sovereign state, so instead the enthusiasts who fought for a uniquely Catalan Internet identity decided to use a three letter combination, standing for the language and the culture. In representing a nation without a state, .cat was the first of its kind.
American based ICANN which approves generic top-level domains pulled the brakes on the project more than once. One of the funnier situations was when they doubted about the Catalans’ cultural intentions and assumed that the real reason for the letters CAT, was that they planned to address the international community of cat-lovers. Therefore, still today, cat related web pages are only allowed to register at .cat as long as the cat, or rather its owner, is a Catalan.
Another detail is that .cat did not need any approval from Madrid, but neither would it have had the strength to withstand much political pressure against its existence. What a fortunate coincidence that there was a change of government in 2004, to Zapatero’s socialist who are relatively open to regional autonomy. The minister of industry who got the issue on his table happened to be a certain José Montilla. In this man's current function, as the President of the Generalitat, he must be quite content with his earlier decision.
Catalan is strong in the virtual world. While the number of speakers makes it the earth's 84th biggest language, it ranks as 23 according to how often it is being used on the Internet. Today .cat has approximately 27.000 registered web-pages. It costs much more to run a web-page at .cat than as .com or .es, but as Saül Cordillo joked tonight: "Catalans are used to paying more than others!"
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La lluita per un domini de primer nivell genèric propi als Països Catalans al Internet, .cat, es pot veure com un bon model per al catalanisme al nivell internacional. Va ser una campanya bé co-ordinada de recollir i presentar signatures, que va tenir un èxit enorme sense fer res de soroll. Durant la seva presentació a Vilanova aquesta tarda, el Saül Gordillo va fer un paral·lel amb els esforços per tenir una selecció catalana de futbol. D'això es sempre parla molt en tots els mitjans de comunicació però, fins ara, sense cap resultat.
El .cat va ser el primer de representar una nació sense estat. De veritat penso que haurieu de ser molt orgullosos d’aquest simbol.