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.CA takes on a French accent

CIRA enables Canadians to register French-language domain names

OTTAWA – January 14, 2013 – The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), the organization that manages the .CA Internet domain, now supports the use of all French characters in .CA domain names, allowing Canadians to register their .CAs correctly in both official languages for the first time.

Previously, the only characters that could be used in a .CA domain name were the letters a-z, the numbers 0-9 and hyphens. When a domain name works with any characters beyond these, it’s called an Internationalized Domain Name (IDN). It is now possible for French .CA domain names to be spelled with the language’s full range of characters and ligatures: é, ë, ê, è, â, à, æ, ô, œ, ù, û, ü, ç, î, ï, ÿ.

“This is great news for all Canadians because it means they can now use the .CA domain in Canada’s two official languages, French and English,” said Byron Holland, President and CEO of CIRA. “This is also great news for owners of .CA domains and their website visitors because it means that domain names can precisely match names, businesses and trademarks.”

 Implementing French-language characters is a far more challenging and complex process than it may at first appear to be. For example, the domain pré could have 62 different spelling variations depending on the choice of characters used. CIRA has developed a number of policies and procedures to keep the process as simple and straightforward as possible.

One of the most important developments by CIRA is the creation of a bundling policy that removes the necessity to register every special-character variant of an existing .CA domain. Whoever registers, or has already registered, a specific domain, is automatically granted an exclusive right to register all of its variants, but is under no obligation to do so. For example, only the owner of will have the right to register cï and cî

For more information about the rollout of French-language characters for the .CA domain, please visit

CIRA is kicking off the launch of French-language domain names at a networking event tomorrow night in Montreal at the Hôtel Place d’Armes, 55, rue Saint-Jacques West. For more information, please visit

To arrange an interview please contact Tanya O’Callaghan or Leo Valiquette at the coordinates below.

About CIRA
The Canadian Internet Registration Authority is the Member-driven organization that manages Canada’s .CA domain name registry, develops and implements policies that support Canada’s Internet community, and represents the .CA registry internationally.

For more information, please contact:

Tanya O’Callaghan
Communications Manager, Canadian Internet Registration Authority
(613) 237-5335 ext. 262

Leo Valiquette
inmedia Public Relations
(613) 769-9479