People will be able to register domain names in Canada with accented French characters from January 13th 2013.
The move has been announced by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority and so businesses will be able to get access to a new range of domains featuring characters such as é, û, à, ç and ë, Lexicology reports.
Once a domain name is registered, all the variants are going to be automatically reserved and will only be available to that registrant, which means firms do not need to worry about potential cases of cybersquatting.
This will come as a relief to any organizations keen to take advantage of the new domains. For example, montreal.ca is going to automatically be given access to montréal.ca.
The move should appeal to French-speaking members of the country, as it will give them the chance to take ownership of a web address that features characters from their language. Access to top-level generic domains is set to increase next year, as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is opening up the market.
It comes after members of the Canadian government took part in the World Conference on International Telecommunications, which ran from December 3rd to the 14th. It saw 190 nations come together to revise the standards that govern communications around the world and it was the first time the process was attempted since 1988.
An updated treaty was not agreed upon after a group of countries – including Canada, the US and the UK – opposed an amendment that would have given greater control of the internet to individual nations.
Canada’s industry minister Christian Paradis said: “Canada endeavoured to reach consensus on new … regulations that recognized advances in telecommunications while maintaining an open, accessible internet.
“The final treaty text tabled in Dubai included provisions that threaten these freedoms and, as a result, Canada and many other nations were unable to sign on to these new regulations.”