It’s been quite the journey since the first .CA was registered in 1988 by the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI). Since then, .CA has become the 11th largest country code top-level domain (ccTLD) out of 160, which goes to show how much Canadians love and value the Internet, and how important it is for Canadians to identify themselves as such online. Over the years we’ve seen successful entrepreneurs build up their businesses and brands online, from budding startups like Blush and Bloom to iconic Canadian businesses like Mountain Equipment Coop. And of course, the 2.5 millionth .CA registered, moonshineentertainment.ca, your “country party specialists”.
In the past few years, over a thousand new domain extensions entered the market, which means CIRA is facing new competition in an exceptionally turbulent domain industry. We are doing everything we can to ensure the value proposition of .CA domains remains relevant and well understood, and we have, to a modest extent, resisted the declining growth curve experienced by some of our peers in the ccTLD space.
What is it that makes a .CA stand out?
A .CA brands your website as Canadian. It is trusted and secure, and more likely to be available than a .com. The .CA registry has a Canadian presence requirement, which helps protect .CA as a true indicator online that you’re visiting a website owned by a Canadian individual or business. This helps CIRA maintain a .CA Registry that is a stable, secure and trusted public resource for all Canadians.
In addition to these benefits, a portion of the proceeds of .CA registrations goes to support CIRA’s mandate of strengthening Canada’s Internet, which includes initiatives like Internet Exchange Points (IXPs), the annual Canadian Internet Governance Forum and the Community Investment Program.
The CIP funds innovative projects that give back to Canadian communities, helping improve digital literacy and getting marginalized populations online. To date, the Community Investment Program has contributed $3.2 million to support 78 innovative projects across Canada.
Just by registering a .CA, you’re helping build a better online Canada.
CIRA continues to evolve
The domain name industry is changing rapidly and CIRA is evolving with it. In the past year, we undertook a major review of our strategic plan to seize the opportunities in front of us. Our new strategic plan has identified new initiatives that help build a better online Canada, take enterprise products to market, all while still working to grow our core business of delivering a safe, stable and secure .CA.
Thank you to all of the .CA domain name holders out there. Here’s to the next 2.5 million!