The first wave of .scot domains will launch today, marking the latest stage in the UK's ongoing web suffix rollout.
DotScot, the not-for-profit organisation managing the new .scot domain, announced the launch on its website, confirming the "pioneer" suffix holders' sites will be active by the end of Tuesday.
"The .Scot pioneer domains will go live today at noon. We're almost there! Thanks to everyone over the years for your support," read the statement.
DotScot told V3 that more than 50 pioneers have already registered, but only 39 sites will go live today as “some haven’t got approval from their press offices to go live yet”.
The launch partners reportedly include the Scottish government, referendum campaigners Yes Scotland and Better Together, WWF Scotland, NHS Scotland and Scouts Scotland.
The .scot domain is one of many UK-focused web suffixes to launch in recent months. Nominet launched the abbreviated .uk suffix in June. The domain proved a hit with many business and numerous high-profile celebrities and brands including Stephen Fry, Sainsbury's, Burberry and Bentley.
Nominet confirmed that more than 50,000 companies had registered for a .uk domain earlier in July, but many have not yet made the new sites active and have continued using the longer .co.uk domain.
First minister Alex Salmond said he expects the .scot domain to have a similarly rapid uptake when it fully launches on 23 September.
"The time is ripe for the worldwide family of Scots to have their own domain, reflecting an online community defined by a shared commitment to Scottish identity, culture and economic promotion," he said.
1&1 Internet, one of the web registrars currently letting people register interest in owning a .scot domain, mirrored Salmond's sentiment, arguing that the suffix will offer businesses a variety of benefits.
"It is perfect for any company with Scottish roots or any organisation wishing to affiliate themselves with the Highlands. When you reserve your unique .scot domain, you instantly speak to your Scottish customers, allowing them to identify with your online presence," said the company's website.
"A tailor-made .scot domain name will also give you an edge over your Scottish competition, allowing you to focus upon improving your services and products whilst reinforcing your local identity."
It is currently unclear how much the .scot domains will cost. DotScot said it will announce pricing for the domain in the near future, but it is expected to be similar to the .uk suffix. The .uk domains are available now and cost the same as their .co.uk equivalents, with Nominet charging £3.50 for a single year and £2.50 for multi-year registrations.
For guidance on how to safely register for a new web domain, check out V3's .uk how-to guide.
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