Call to strengthen the .EUS domain in Bizkaia
The Chartered Provincial Council of Bizkaia and EUDEL are keen to support the use of the .EUS domain across the websites of Bizkaia-based companies and associations
The .EUS domain has been in use for nearly two years. And over these two years 6,000 companies, institutions and individuals have joined the community by registering domain names.
Right now, .EUS is the only Internet domain that is growing in the Peninsular Basque Country, and while all the other domains (.com, .net, .es, etc.) are experiencing an average fall of 7%, .EUS saw 18% growth during the first nine months of 2016.
The growth of the .EUS domain is taking place across all provinces and sectors. In Bizkaia, for example, 30% of the domain names were registered by companies, 16% by public institutions, and 20% by organisations in the field of the Basque language and Basque culture. Many websites have made the leap to .EUS; and thanks to that and to the quality of these websites, the .EUS domain has been placed in 4th position with respect to quality and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) among the 783 new domain names in the world.
The aim of the PuntuEUS Foundation is to work to spread and grow the domain; according to the latest market analysis carried out, this growth is expected to be driven by the participation of companies, associations etc. of Bizkaia. The fact is that so far the .EUS has a greater weight for example in Gipuzkoa than in Bizkaia.
The commitment by the main public institutions of Bizkaia is clear and the Chartered Provincial Council of Bizkaia and EUDEL (Association of Basque Municipalities) are examples of .EUS users. Apart from using the domain, these institutions have called on companies, organisations, etc. across Bizkaia to use the .EUS domain for their websites.
Lorea Bilbao, Head of Basque and Culture, stressed the need to be on the Internet. “Whether you like it or not, today ICTs and their use are no longer matters of choice, we have to be there if we want the language to progress. And Basque is in that phase. According to UNESCO data, there are nearly 7,000 languages in the world and only 5% of these world languages are used on the Internet, and one of them is Basque. As far as the number of web browsers is concerned, for example, according to data of a couple of years ago Basque was the 44th language. It is among the first 33 languages on Twitter, there are 292 languages in Wikipedia and one of them is Basque, and we have an option for using Basque on Facebook, Google, and on many well-known social media and web services. We also have the .EUS domain, so let us use it to make Basque even better known.
One of the keys along the road to the normalisation of Basque is to have resources in Basque, to have tools to be able to use Basque; the .EUS domain itself is also another step on the Internet to make the presence of Basque on the Internet more significant and better known, it gives our language prestige, referentiality, and we are in no position to waste the opportunities we have available.”
Indeed, the .EUS domain is a useful tool for supporting the presence of Basque on the Internet. 15% of the websites use Basque in Bizkaia and when analysing the percentage of websites with Basque content in the main domains it becomes clear that the .EUS domain is the one with the most Basque. In this case, the number of domains that have Basque account for 88% of the domains, while the percentage of websites with no Basque content is 12%. So the .EUS domain can be said to be the digital “lungs” of the Basque language. As regards the remaining domains, the presence of Basque on their websites is below 20% in most cases. Today, there are a total of 16,559 websites with content in Basque in the Basque Country, and 6,000 of them use the .EUS domain name.
These 6,000 .EUS domains are many and of all kinds in terms of nature and motivation. They include famous organisations in the community, such as Athletic Club, for example. There are large companies, too, such as Petronor; or well-known figures in the field of culture such as Kepa Junkera. Yet it is not necessary to be so big to make the most of the .EUS domain.
The .EUS website is a resource for the Igorre-based BATZ Cooperative Group, “We keep our roots right here but our branches are open to the world so that we can develop our language and culture”.
More and more retail outlets have websites. Manoli Bengoetxea is the manager of the Gili-Gili clothes shop in the old quarter of Bilbao and has a .EUS domain website. “We are Giligili .EUS because we are Basque speakers. We identify with .EUS because we live in Basque in all spheres of life”.
Lorena Zubizarreta of the Nabarniz Jatetxea (Restaurant) associates the restaurant’s atetxenabarniz.eus URL with identity: “We decided to be .EUS because we wanted to give our restaurant brand identity”. In the field of professionals, Aiert Buruaga is an architect and his website is ab-ark.eus: “I am .EUS to position my brand in the digital world and to link it to the Basque language”
The .EUS domain is a top-level domain of the Community of the Basque Language and Culture, so .EUS is a tool which puts Euskara (Basque) on the level of other languages, which will assist in the normalisation of Basque and which offers the people of the Basque language international recognition.
In May 2012 the PuntuEUS Foundation submitted the .EUS request to the ICANN organization and it was this foundation that signed the contract with the ICANN organisation in December 2013.
So the PuntuEus Foundation is the organisation responsible for managing, controlling and administering the .EUS domain.
The mission of the PuntuEUS Foundation is to make Basque visible, usable and useful in the digital environment so that Basque can be a top-level language.