During the initial release of reserved and short .uk domain names such as 1.co.uk and aa.co.uk we received a large number of calls from customers who had been confused and wanted to register directly under the .uk extension.
We have spoken to Nominet (the lovely Stuart) about this subject and the structure of the Register is historical, the different extensions were originally intended to aid Registrants and visitors to find a domain / company they needed;
.co.uk is for commercial operations
.org.uk is for organisations
.me.uk is for individuals
.net.uk is for network providers.
Nominet recognise that over time these lines have become blurred and whilst they are not opposed at opening up registrations directly under .uk – they have publically said that ‘any business case received to open up registrations directly under the .uk extension, would have to be in the interest of what is best for the UK internet’.
Let’s imagine Nominet opened up the .uk and allowed registrations directly under it. How would it be released?
Would Intellectual property holders that exactly matched the domain name be able to register first?
Would they allow people with the corresponding co.uk to submit their applications first?
Would they open it up on a first come, first served basis?
If you could suddenly register under a .uk what affect would that have on the existing co.uk org.uk me.uk and net.uk domain names?
As the 2nd largest Country code Registry (behind .de Germany, which only has one extension to choose from), with over 9 million domains registered, any changes would have to be considered on merit and whilst it ‘may’ happen in the future, at this stage the negatives far out-way the positives.