18(a) Describe the mission/purpose of your proposed gTLD
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Friesland (http:⁄⁄en.wikipedia.org⁄wiki⁄Friesland) is one of the most northern provinces of The Netherlands. The people of Friesland refer to themselves as Frisians (http:⁄⁄en.wikipedia.org⁄wiki⁄Frisians), and are a very independent and close-knit community. The Frisians have their own (internationally recognized) language, which is recognized as an official language both in The Netherlands and in Germany. All towns, villages and communities have a Dutch name and a separate Frisian name that is shown on road signs and official maps.
Friesland is governed by the Provincie Fryslân, which is the official governing body of this province. The Provincie Fryslân first started plans for its own TLD as early as 2006, but due to political issues and changing political landscape this TLD still has not been realized. Together with SIDN, the Provincie Fryslân has conducted an extensive study of the potential for a Top-Level-Domain name in Friesland. The study focussed mainly on governments and businesses in Friesland, and concluded that there is a market for at least 40.000 domain names there. If we add to this the potential consumer market, we see a business case for 100.000 domain names in Friesland.
In december 2011 the Provincie Fryslân started a public tender for the .FRL gTLD, and Metaregistrar entered this tender. From all the parties, Metaregistrar was willing to take full responsibility for both the application and the funding, and was selected as preferred partner by the Provincie Fryslân.
During the years that an own TLD for Friesland was in the making, several alternatives were considered: .FRIESLAND (but that is Dutch language, not Frisian), .FRYSLAN (but that would need an accent on the A) or .FRYSLÂN (that would be an IDN application, which would make e-mailing difficult for many people in The Netherlands). From the alternatives, FRL was selected, because many Frisians already identify themselves with an FRL sticker on the backs of their cars, and within The Netherlands, FRL is widely recognized as short for Friesland.
According to ISO3166-2, the official code for Friesland would be NL-FR. However, both NL and FR are already taken as 3166-1 country codes, and NLFR would not be a tld that speaks to the heart of the Frisians because it still starts with NL.
Similar gTLD applications: (0)
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