A .Scot internet domain name has been swamped with applications – even though it won’t go live until the summer.
The Glasgow-based not-for-profit outfit Dot Scot Registry (DSR) paid more than £300,000 for the licence for the .Scot suffix.
Demand has been so great that the firm believes it will be in profit within the first year and has promised to donate surplus money to new small businesses.
DSR’s director Gavin McCutcheon said: “We have been absolutely inundated with requests.
“There’s been a huge amount of interest from ex-pats, which is not surprising when there are about 100 million people around the world claiming some degree of Scottish ancestry.
“We have received requests from people in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and throughout Europe.
“We’ve even had a query from a pipe band in Pakistan.
“Obviously there has been a lot of demand from Scotland, including some from fairly major corporations and organisations.”
DSR will not actually register the web addresses itself. This will be carried out by domain name companies.
Mr McCutcheon said he hoped the cost of a .Scot address would be “as low as possible” - about £20.
He said the £300,000 cost of the licence – paid for by three people in the firm – was “a huge gamble” but expects to recoup the cash within the first year.
DSR will then plough profits back into a scheme to help fledgling Scottish businesses.
It’s believed the .scot address could be available in time for this year’s Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
First Minister Alex Salmond, speaking last month when he was told that .scot would be made available, said: “2014 is an exciting year for Scotland, and I’m delighted that this distinct online identity for the nation, and all who take an interest in Scotland, will become available this summer.
“The .scot domain is long overdue in this digital age, and the worldwide family of Scots who have been waiting patiently since it was first proposed, will soon be able to have this marvellously expressive domain as their online identity of choice.”
Meanwhile, south of the Border, the English are having less luck with their own domain name .eng.
Businessman John Sewell has been running an online campaign since 2008 for a .eng suffix to be created but no plans have been announced.
Mr Sewell believed he had the “know-how and ability” to lead the effort, but admitted interest had waned.
He said: “My view is that it’s not a bad thing to be patriotic. England is a cool country, we’re highly in demand for fashion and many other things.”