Nominet, the .uk Registry published their second consultation on the 1st July 2013 to ask you the following questions:
Do you want direct registrations under .uk?
If you do, how do they decide who gets certain domain names first?
Over the years Nominet have been asked multiple times “why don’t they allow us to register directly under .uk?” and with the global domain world about to change, Nominet has decided that they should ask for your opinion as to whether domain names ending in .uk should be allowed alongside the existing .co.uk .org.uk etc. If Nominet are to add this new option, they will also need to know the fairest way to do it e.g. should existing individuals and businesses that have already secured their .co.uk or .org.uk domain name be allowed to request the “matching” domain name directly in .uk portfolio?
In this second consultation, it is proposed that existing domain name registrants in the .uk namespace could have a “six month” period in which they can submit an application for the corresponding .uk domain name. In the cases where multiple applications for the same .uk domain name are received in this initial 6 month period, the application from the registrant with the corresponding domain name (.co.uk .org.uk .me.uk etc) that has been registered the longest, will be awarded the direct.uk.
Sounds too complicated?
Lets take names.co.uk domain name as an example. They’d definitely want to secure names.uk if .uk is introduced. If you check names.co.uk and on the Whois register it shows it was registered before August 1996 – this makes it quite old! If .uk is released, then whether they submit an application for names.uk on day one or on the last day of the “six month right of refusal” they should get names.uk (phew!).
If they don’t submit an application (which they will), then the oldest applicant who submits an order will get it. If after 6 months, no-one had submitted an order for names.uk then it would be available on a first come, first served basis for registration order.
I encourage you all to have your say and contribute as Nominet try to find out “what’s best for the .UK namespace”, find their consultation here.
If you want to find out more about this, listen in to the radio interview I did with online radio show, Frequency cast.
To try and help our teams and customers understand this, i did a little Q&A, it also allowed me to answer the “elephant in the room question” as to whether you should buy a .co.uk today or wait 😉
(Disclosure; I’ve bought a certain .me.uk domain in the vain hope i will be able to get the .uk, even if it isn’t the oldest, this is a personal effort to right a wrong… even with everything i know, i can’t get a malicious .co.uk registration back off someone, believe me i’ve looked into it).
Q. Can i register myname.uk today?
A. No, you cannot (nor can anyone else) submit an application for a direct.uk domain name yet.
Q. Why have the British Library got bl.uk
A. There are some in existence already but those were granted before 1996 when Nominet took over the running of the .uk namespace and none have been allowed since.
Q. Will this mean that we can definitely register direct.uk?
A. This is just a consultation, it is Nominet asking questions and giving an example of what they believe to be a viable option based on the first consultation feedback. This does NOT definitely mean that direct.uk will happen.
Q. Why are Nominet holding a consultation?
A. Nominet has been asked repeatedly over the years why they don’t allow this as other countries do (.fr .ie .de .nl .es etc) and as Nominet is directed to act in the ‘best interest of the UK namespace” they are asking the UK namespace if they should allow it.
Q. When might we be able to register direct .uk?
A. If this goes ahead, technical changes in registrars would need to be done and Nominet would have to allow time for development work and communications. So even if it goes ahead, it is doubtful it will happen in 2013.
Q. Should I still go ahead and register a .co.uk today?
A. We don’t know whether Nominet will even allow direct.uk yet – this is just a consultation. Nominet has to ask these questions to make sure any decision they make is in the best interest of the .uk. If there are no domains in the other .uk existing extensions registered then at least if you get the .co.uk now, should this even happen then you would have the right to apply for the direct .uk to match. If you wait, you may miss out on them both. Even if direct.uk goes ahead, it will take time to become familiar, the .co.uk extension is strong and will remain so for some time to come.
This is your .uk namespace, what happens with it is up to you, I urge you all to have your say. Please fill in the consultation 🙂