.БГ – new Cyrillic country-code top level domain

top level domainIn the beginning of 2017 was launched the new Cyrillic country-code top level domain .бг. It is the Cyrillic equivalent to .bg. The domain name is under the category of internationalized country-code top level domains (IND ccTLD). These domains are available for end users in their native script or specific alphabet.

In connection with the new Cyrilic country-code top level domain, trademark owners have to meet strict conditions in order to exercise their earlier rights. For example, it is not sufficient to have just any trademark registration valid in Bulgaria, but it must entirely correspond to the desired domain name (i.e. to have identical verbal elements) and must be in Cyrillic.

The Bulgarian Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications (MTITC) brings to your attention a short process chronology.

Citation:

  • Bulgaria is the first country to officially declare its desire to register a top-level domain in Cyrillic. On November 16th 2009 ICANN announced a fast track procedure for the registration of national domain names in Cyrillic and other non – Latin alphabets/scripts. In November 2009 the MTITC organized and conducted two public consultations: on the Bulgarian domain in Cyrillic registry and on the selection of strings to be used for the national domain.
  • The registration request was sent to ICANN on February 19th 2010 by the MTITC. The request also included the Council of standardization of geographical names to the Geodesy, Cartography and Cadastre Agency position. The position stated that in the Bulgarian people’s minds the string “.бг” has a direct connection with the name of the country and symbolizes “Bulgarian”.
  • On May 18th 2010 ICANN sent a refusal of the string registration on the grounds that the Bulgarian proposal has visual similarities with already existing Latin domains. At this point in time the procedure did not provide objections or review options.
  • In July-August 2010 the MTITC conducted another public consultation in an attempt to determine a possible alternative string name. Over 65 percent of the participants however indicated that they did not wish for any other Cyrillic domain name other than “.бг.” This is why the MTITC team committed to defending the Bulgarian internet community’s choice.
  • In December 2013 ICANN allowed a final assessment of the national internet domain name string requested by Bulgaria.
  • The national Cyrillic domain name “.бг” was officially approved by the International Organization for Internet names and addresses in October 2014. In October 14th 2014 a Cooperation Agreement (MoU) was also signed between the MTITC and ICANN. The document set the framework for the development and management of Internet domain names in Europe and the training of Bulgarian experts in the field of Internet governance. More information can be found at: https://www.mtitc.government.bg/page.php?category=92&id=7744
  • A working group was established by the Minister of Transport, Information Technologies and Communications, which elaborated draft versions of “Principles and requirements for the registration of names in the Internet domain “.бг “(IDN ccTLD .бг )” and “Methodology for the evaluation of applicants proposals for the Registry of the top-level domain in Cyrillic “.бг”. These documents define the terms, conditions and criteria for selecting  the administrator of the registry of the top – level bulgarian domain in Cyrillic. Both documents were approved by the Minister with a ref. №14-00-407/16.03.2015, which can be found at: https://www.mtitc.government.bg/page.php?category=456&id=8254
  • A Public Expert Council was established to the MTITC (by order РД-08-192/09.04.2015), tasked with ensuring multistakeholder model approach, a stronger involvement of the Internet community in the formation of a common policy for the management of this national resource and the possibility to effectively control its implementation. To determine the participants in the council, chaired by Deputy Minister Valeri Borisov, a letter was sent (ref. № 08-00-5 / 09.01.2015) to the relevant ministries, regulatory authorities, scientific and professional organizations, civil associations and the Internet community. Following the principles of transparency this 30 working group members had to review, discuss, approve and adopt the aforementioned documents. More information on the process can be found at: https://www.mtitc.government.bg/page.php?category=92&id=8258
  • On May 12th 2015 the two documents (the Principles and the Methodology) were published for public consultation on the e-democracy website, in “Topics for debate “which is part of the government’s e-services access portal. The opportunity to participate in the discussion was further publicized on the official MTITC website.
  • The Methodology and the Principles were approved by the Council members at the last meeting of the Public Expert Council, held on June 9th 2015. The chairman of the public council, Mr. Valeri Borisov, submitted a report to the Minister, Mr. Ivaylo Moskovski, (ref. № РД -08-192/06.19.2015), which served as the official approval of the documents by the Ministry.
  • Minutes of the meetings of the Public Expert Council and any annexes can be found at: https://www.mtitc.government.bg/page.php?category=607
  • On July 1st 2015 the MTITC started accepting the proposals of applicants for the establishment and administration of the Registry for the top-level domain in Cyrillic “.бг.” The deadline for preparation and submission of proposals is 90 calendar days from the date of publication of the invitation to participate. For more information, please visit: https://www.mtitc.government.bg/page.php?category=456&id=8388

During the entire process, information and materials for the procedure were being published in the news sections of various journalist websites, web portals and internet sites.