By Marcus Leach

A survey by Nominet has revealed a high percentage of support from Welsh businesses and consumers for the nation getting its own domain name.

The move would offer website owners the chance to end their address with .wales and .cymru, instead of .uk.

As of January ICANN, the internet regulator, will allow all countries to apply for the new domain names.

Supporters of the country domain names say it could help with branding, but critics warn it may increase the opportunity for fraud.

The report said 69% of consumers backed the move and 59% of Welsh businesses and other bodies.

The poll used a sample of 1,003 individuals - 21% of whom were Welsh speakers - and 250 senior decision makers in Welsh organisations

"On the consumer side there was a slightly higher preference for .cymru," Nominet's director of business development, Glenn Hayward, told the BBC.

"Among businesses there was a much stronger preference for .wales to help them market themselves outside of the country."

Nominet suggests one solution would be for the both name to be registered. Website addresses ending in either suffix could then direct users to the same place.

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