Nominet, the non-profit company that runs the Internet domain system for the United Kindgom ccTLD .Uk said today that they are looking at issuing second level .Uk domains names one’s that do not require the use of the .co first.
The proposal is now open for comments until January 7, 2013.
You might remember that Nominet raised some £3 million which is over $4.5 Million dollars last year from the sale of one and two letter .co.uk. just last year.
Twelve single letter web addresses fetched an average of £39,000 each in the sale.
The auction helped raise £3 million for the Nominet Trust
Here is the announcement:
“we are holding a three month consultation about the potential introduction of a new service known as direct.uk, which would be specifically designed for businesses that are or want to get online, with a new shorter domain name of internet.uk rather than internet.co.uk.
Nominet’s Director of Operations Eleanor Bradley explains more about our proposals in the video above.
Proposed key features include; verification to check a registrant has a UK address, daily monitoring for malicious software and viruses, and a digital signature which minimises the risks of a domain name being hijacked. These measures would be supported by a trustmark to give consumers a clear sign that it was a verified domain name.
The potential additional features incorporated in this proposed new product could help to create an even more secure online home for British businesses. They would help to guard against cybercrime, which costs the UK approximately £27 billion per year, and play an important part in creating a trusted space for businesses and consumers.
We are proposing that it would be a new and different service that would sit alongside the already known, respected and trusted options such as .co.uk, .org.uk and me.uk that will remain as an accessible, flexible and vibrant domain name spaces.
This proposal is obviously significant for anyone involved in the .uk namespace, which is why we are consulting to ensure we take all views into account.”
You can download the proposal here
You can email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I read through the proposal and one thing I did not see discussed is any sort of grandfathering for current .co.uk domain holders to the what would be the shorter and more preferable .Uk.
The aftermarket for .co.uk over the years has been pretty active with a lot of money invested into it.
If I was had spent tens of thousands or six figures for a .co.uk domain, I would be pretty upset about the proposal.
The last couple of years have seen some reportable .co.uk domain sell as high as into the six figures according to DnJournal.com:
Last year saw Beds.co.uk sell for $130,400
Thanks for that. Interesting ! I love cruising, so I have visited CheapCruises.co.uk several times.
That was a heck of a good price for Beds.co.uk.
CoffeeTables .co.uk and DiningTables.co.uk were more than one would have guessed.
Furniture firms must be keen !
Very good prices !!
Hop on the new TLD bandwagon – my guess they will give the .co.uk owners the first right of refusal – isn’t that magnanimous of them to guarantee themselves all those initial millions of sales?
Well – they are a non-profit yes – oops but with huge payroll salaries ?
Domo Sapiens says
most on that list should have serious amounts of very well paid type-ins or at least that used to be the case…
THAT SHOULD THROW UP A RED FLAG: “I read through the proposal and one thing I did not see discussed is any sort of grandfathering for current .co.uk domain holders to the what would be the shorter and more preferable .Uk.”
John Berryhill says
Not grandfathering .co.uk registrants is, IMHO, a really bad decision. Other ccTLDs which have made this jump have done so.
Not having read the rules, I can think of a GREAT single-letter one.
There won’t be any grandfathering – who would have the rights – .co.uk owner or the .org.uk owner? Or maybe the .net.uk owner?
I don’t think that they will be “grandfathering” .co.uk,
and if they don’t, then that will become a big problem
for existing .co.uk owners and will relegate the extension
(which is currently seen to be the best in the UK) to that
of an “also ran” TLD over the next few years, with little to
From what i’ve read so far, this is an appalling move from
Nominet but I don’t think they’ll get away with it. You can’t
run a registry for 15 years, with numerous .uk TLDs (that
clearly have a hierarchical structure, in terms of perception)
and then say “lets forget that now… wipe the slate for everyone
and start afresh with this new TLD (i.e the ‘root’ TLD that they
should have released many years ago).
There is, of course, a lesson here for anyone who has dabbled
in ccTLD’s and they don’t have the ‘root’ TLD name!
I don’t have any exposure to .co.uk, but I think that Nominet
have shot themselves in the foot with this and I don’t believe
they can reasonably claim that .co.uk is just another UK ext’n,
that should not be afforded special rights.
I also think that .co.uk holders will have a case against Nominet,
for with-holding the public release of the “.uk” TLD, when there
has never been a good reason to do so, and in releasing it now
to act only as a kind of “ransom strip”, against the interests of
their existing customers.
Originally Posted by Nominets FAQ
Q Why wouldn’t you just let everyone with a .co.uk have automatic rights to the .uk?
A The proposals we have outlined acknowledge that existing registrants with domain names registered in the third level may have an unregistered right provided evidence of use could be shown prior to a qualifying date. We also believe that it is appropriate to recognise trademark holders as having prior rights to registering a domain, followed by those with unregistered rights. Our current rules provide that a registrant does not have any rights in any words within a .uk domain, and that Nominet does not authorise registrants to use the domain name as part of a business. However, as part of the registered rights phase of sunrise, we would generally accept evidence of use as a valid unregistered right. We believe this approach fits with a digital economy where innovation and intellectual property are championed and to supporting existing registrants who might want to take up such a new service.
SUMMARY: IF YOU DON’T HAVE A TRADEMARK AND A LEGITIMATE WEBSITE UP AND RUNNING ON ANY .CO.UK YOU CURRENTLY OWN, YOU MAY LIMIT YOUR CHANCES OR ANY RIGHTS TO BE “GRANDFATHERED” IN. WHAT A SCREW JOB ON THEIR OWN EXISTING CUSTOMERS….
Guys thanks for your support, we (members of Nominet) are fighting this, trying to call an urgent EGM. If you know anyone who are Nominet members etc then please send them to that.co.uk
It’s going to be shambolic to say the least not to mention shafting members in the process.
The banning of foreign ownership of .uk domains will also shut the doors to international investors and see many of those guys lose their investments.
Make the UK a laughing stock….
Cheers for your words guys and hope you spread the word about this…