Who are we?
PuntoGal is the managing entity of the Galician domain. As a registry, one of its functions is to keep all the names registered under the .GAL umbrella operational, complying with the different international regulations for the functioning of the network. But PuntoGal is much more than that. Among all, it is success story of a common national effort. A symbol of, when working together, we can get anything. No one could think that Galicia could obtain a domain of our own to identify us on the web, yet we have been an official member of this club since 2013.
Howener, it was not an easy road. Far from it. When fifteen entities set up PuntoGal in 2006, none of the people gathered for the occasion at the Auditorio de Galicia in Santiago de Compostela thought that the road would be so long. The seven long years which took to complete the process were complex for many reasons, but they were also a great opportunity.
A great opportunity to raise awareness of the domain and gain the support of the country’s civil society. PuntoGal, 115 associated entities, but along the way received the support of thousands of people who signed up for the Galician candidacy, political parties and institutions, of the more than 90 pioneers. Who took the initial leap by betting on the domain
and of each and every one of the companies, organizations, grassroot associations, professional associations, the media, individuals and institutions which make this project grow a little more every day. If you want to know a little more about the history of the domain you can follow this link.
Today, PuntoGal is a fully operational domain, integrated into the management structures of the international network, whit a growing number of registrations and a average renewal of over 90%, and with a corporate programme to support initiatives in the field of language, culture and technology in Galicia, ranging from sports to podcasts, including literary production or the awards to scientific and technical innovation. But, among all, it is and independent entity with a clear and defined roadmap. These are three areas in which it carries out its daily work: domain management, corporate action and representation.
The ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is the international authority which manages the domains on the net, among other internet regulations. This non-governmental entity, where the whole internet industry is represented, delegates each registry to a entity which meets all of its technical, operational and economic requirements.
This is necessary for any registrar- the companies that sell domains to the general public- could apply to have the .GAL in their catalogue with all the guarantees of operation. PuntoGal, therefore, manages the registrations and promotes the sale of .GAL domains, with the aim of creating and maintaining a relevant community around the Galician language and culture. For more information on how ICANN works, you can find more information here. And, if you want to see in detail how we develop this function, visit the website www.dominio.gal.
PuntoGal, as an active member of the global internet community, represents Galicia behind international organisms that decide about the functioning of the net and its future, as is the case of the ICANN. We made our voice, an also our language, be heard in these forums. For this we also join other organizations, as the GeoTLDs, which brings together all the geographical and cultural domains and where we talk with Catalans, Basques, Bretons, Scots or Tyroleans to collaborate on the issues we share. You can find more information about the GeoTLDs on their website, or by watching this video. In a more formal way, these questions ara also submitted to ICANN and GNSO (Generic Names Supporting Organization) from another working group in which we are present, the RySG (Registries Stakeholder Group), to which we also try to bring a Galician perspective. You have more information about them here. PuntoGal actively participates on meetings, congresses and forums where the internet is discussed and that, therefore, is its third but not least function.
As a non-profit organization, PuntoGal allocates an important part of the economic resources obtained from the sale of domains, once the items dedicated to the operation of the registry have been paid, to its corporate action programme with language, culture, technology or any other field related to the country. Therefore, the more domains we have, the more activities of this kind we will be able to develop. In the project section of the website you can consult in detail the projects we are involved in.
In short, PuntoGal is an open entity with a spirit of collaboration. With any person or entity. Our ears are open, so contact us if you think we can give you a hand.
The .GAL identifies us as community on a global world, makes us visible, generates opportunities, gives us voice on the net. When people of different professional background share their concerns and a national project like this is born. After Catalonia got its domain, .cat; the idea that Galicia could have its own domain raised. Promoters gathered information, analysed possibilities and finally took the first step in public. With the support of a small group of entities, they launched the call for the constitution of PuntoGal.
The management of PuntoGal got down to work, drafted the statutes and appointed its first board of directors. In June 2006, the organisation was officially up and running. Working groups were organised to get information from ICANN and to disseminate the idea of acquiring our own domain.
A long and complex process
The process was not thought to be so long. It took seven years. The entrance of new domains completely changes the way ICANN worked. It was an important decision for ICANN. PuntoGal together with many other candidacies lobbied to open the process and became known among the committees, companies and people working in the organisation. They explained where Galicia was and why we wanted a domain.
Galicia obtains its domain
The domain was obtained on 14 June 2013. The first activated domain was a symbolic and technical one: nic.gal, the beginning of the effective transference of the domain management, on April 2014. The first complete website under the .gal domain, www.dominio.gal, was presented in City of Culture in Santiago de Compostela on May 2014. The PuntoGal team planned the launching of the 93 pioneers which gave a step forward and acquire the first .GAL for their websites. Launching a domain implies to follow the guidelines set by the ICANN. Three initial phases were created: Abrente (Sunrise), Carreira (Landrush) and, finally, the Open phase. The 2 December 2014, the Open Phase was activated, all the applications are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. The domain was fully operational and opened to the society in general. The number of domains was continuously increasing The work is not only selling domains, but also bringing PuntoGal closer to the society.
A Collective success
On the origins of PuntoGal was not only as an objective to achieve the domain, but also the way was part of the project. PuntoGal is an active for Galicia, and as this, it has to work. That spirit is shown in his open-door policy to all social sensibilities.
One of the more emotional and symbolic moments on this journey was the institutional declaration made by the Galician Parliament, on June 2014, to support the domain. Institutional support In May 2015, the Xunta de Galicia approved the decree 74/2015 regulating the organization of the Internet presence of the general Administration and the public sector of Galicia under the .GAL top-level.
The three Galician Universities support PuntoGal since its origins. They are part of the association, present in the pioneering process and use .gal. The headquarters of the domain are on the University of A Coruña and an office at the University of Santiago de Compostela.
Prizes and awards
PuntoGal had –and has- many objectives, but none of them was getting awards. Moreover, during these years some arrived:
- Xoán Manoel Pintos Award
- Professional School of Computer Engineering of Galicia Awardf.
- Galician Culture Award on 2013f.
- Manuel Beiras Award.
- Honorary Member of the Association of Engineers of Telecommunications of Galicia.
Creation of the promoter
A working group was organized as Promoter to constitute the PuntoGal Association.
PuntoGal Association was constituted after several months by a Promoted made up of several entities representing Galician culture and society.
After a long wait, PuntoGal Association finally could apply its candidacy for domain fora Galician language and culture.
ICANN approved .GAL
After meeting the ICANN requirements, PuntoGal Association got the .GAL approval.
PuntoGal Association signed with ICANN the contract for the creation of the .GAL domain.
AICANN finally delegated .gal domain, by this PuntoGal Association became effectively a domain operator.
The first website under a .gal was presented to civil society.
The first 93 domain activated under suffix .gal were presented.
Presentation of .Gal Launch Phase on the Real Academia Galega.
Open Phase Announcement
The .GAL registry Open Phase was announced at an event in the Escola de Enxeñaría de Telecomunicación of Vigo.
Start of the open phase
The .Gal domain registry was open for the general public.
PuntoGal new member of GeoTLDs
PuntoGal new member of GeoTLDs which promote the local digital entitites.