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This week, CIRA released key highlights of how we plan to implement French language characters, or Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) in .CA domain names. 

This plan comes as a result of seven months of outreach by CIRA. We've talked to subject matter experts, our CIRA Certified Registrars and conducted two public consultations to obtain feedback, and I believe CIRA's IDN initiative is stronger for it.

CIRA received a tremendous amount of feedback during the consultation which has directly shaped our approach to implementing IDNs. Here are some of the highlights of our planned approach:

  • French Characters: CIRA will allow the registration of the following characters: é, ë, ê, è, â, à, æ, ô, œ, ù, û, ü, ç, î, ï, and ÿ.
  • Administrative Bundling: Character variants will be bundled together, meaning that the Registrant of a particular domain name will have the exclusive right to register all of the variants of that domain name (e.g., only the Registrant of will be able to register pré, prèsïdë.ca, prësîdê.ca, etc.).
  • Single Registrar: Domain names in a bundle must all be held by the same Registrar under the same Registrant contact.
  • Pricing: The wholesale pricing of IDNs, including French character variants of existing domain names, will not be higher than the pricing for any ASCII or English domain name. This will not apply, however to any price related promotions that CIRA may choose to offer, from time to time.

As stewards of the .CA domain space, we are committed to running a world-class domain name registry for the benefit of all Canadians, and that includes both English and French Canada. The implementation of French characters not only allows us to better serve Canadians in both official languages, it also creates a more accessible Internet experience for all.

Byron Holland

Driven by an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for Internet governance, Byron’s leadership has brought CIRA to the forefront of innovation. At CIRA, Byron has led a wholesale rewrite of the .CA registry and related policies and business rules. Under Byron’s leadership, CIRA has expanded its product and service offerings to Canadians and .CA has become one of the fastest growing country code top-level domains (ccTLD) in the world.

Byron has developed a strong international profile for CIRA and the .CA top-level domain. He is vice-chair of the Country Codes Name Supporting Organization (ccNSO), the body that represents the interests of all country code top-level domains and leads policy development initiatives at ICANN, and is Chair of ICANN’s Customer Standing Committee (CSC). Byron is also an active participant in the United Nations coordinated Internet Governance Forum.

Byron received a Bachelor of Arts with Honours from the University of Western Ontario and a Master of Business Administration from Queen’s University. He also holds his ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.

The views expressed in this blog are Byron’s opinions on Internet-related issues, and are not necessarily those of the organization.