Ask the average man on the street and I’m sure they will struggle to pinpoint the Confederation of Helvetia on a world map. It is there, normally sitting right in the middle of a world map view. We know it as Switzerland. For those interested in etymology, Confoederatio Helvetica was introduced after the formation of the federal state back in 1848, which also gave rise to the banking code for the currency, CHF. The name was adopted to demonstrate neutrality from the four official languages of Switzerland.
Most motorists would recognise the CH number plate as being associated with Switzerland, but the domain name suffix still causes some confusion for many people. Is it Chile, Chad or even China a sample of people I asked offered as potential answers? The dotCH domain name has grown consistently since launch just over 20 years ago. In the past few quarters it has been adding around 20,000 names to the zone every quarter, and should pass through the two million active registrations mark before the end of the year. It is seen almost as important for a Swiss business to own as a dotCom,
However, things may soon be hotting up in the high mountain valleys of Switzerland with the launch of dotSwiss by the Federal Office of Communications. The Top Level Domain will be available to register for any organisations who have sufficient connection with Switzerland and has the objective of bringing a stronger national identity to the digital world for Switzerland and Swiss businesses. In terms of geographic gTLDs it is fairly unique, with virtually all other geoTLDs relating to cities or regions within countries.
The TLD is currently in the Trademark Sunrise period and will enter into General Availability in January 2016. With current registration restrictions meaning only organisations with a Trademark Clearinghouse object being able to apply, brand holders could soon be stealing a massive digital advantage by adopting a dotSwiss and making sure everyone, including those confused men in the street, understand what a dotSwiss business stands for.