An internet domain for Scotland could be available in time for this year's Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Not-for-profit company Dot Scot Registry (DSR) has announced that it has agreed terms with international regulators to operate a new .scot domain.
The domain had not been expected to be available until early 2015.
The news means .scot addresses, for both website and email use, could be available to buy this summer.
DSR said it had "formally agreed terms" with the international regulatory authority, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), to operate the new Top Level Domain (gTLD).
It added: "This means .scot should be available to buy this summer.
"A timetable and details of costs will be announced soon."
The Scottish government welcomed the development, saying it had actively supported DSR in the application process.
First Minister Alex Salmond 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."
Gavin McCutcheon, director of Dot Scot Registry, said: "Scotland and Scottishness conveys a whole range of positive connotations, which could not really be portrayed on the web before, but with a .scot domain there will be a new option anyone involved in Scottish business, arts and culture and others to identify themselves more clearly as Scottish to the online world.
"We aim to make .scot domains as affordable as possible and our not-for-profit structure means we will be able to do so.
"We hope that .scot will become the first choice for the worldwide family of Scots, allowing them to demonstrate for the first time their affinity to Scotland and for Scottish societies and organisations wherever they are in the world to make .scot their home on the internet."