Next summer will see the roll out of not one, not two, but three new domain names as Nominet evolves their .uk domains namespace.
As we’ve previously written, .wales and .cymru extensions were proposed earlier this year to help to celebrate the Welsh digital economy and promote Welsh business. In addition, Nominet will be introducing .uk domains from Summer 2014, as an alternative to .co.uk or .org.uk (or .net.uk, .me.uk, .plc.uk, .ltd.uk and .sch.uk).
.uk extensions will be available on a first-come first-serve basis for unique names. If you currently hold a .co.uk or .org.uk domain name, you’ll have five years to register interest in the .uk version before it’ll be forfeited to the first bidder.
Nominet have also prepared for instances where two companies hold the same domain name but in .co.uk and .org.uk – the first refusal for the .uk domain will go to the .co.uk registrant.
The .uk extension is an exciting time for the UK domains namespace, as this is the biggest overhaul since it began. It sees a recognition of the changing landscape and confirms Nominet’s desire to be ahead of the curve. Nominet’s CEO Lesley Cowley said: “We’re holding ourselves to a higher standard, expanding the choices available to our customers, upping the bar for security, data quality and the way we engage with our registrars to ensure everyone registering, managing or visiting a website with a domain ending in .uk can be proud to be part of a strong, trusted community.”
For ICUK, this is great news, as one of our directors, Paul Barnett, has sat on the Nominet round tables in this debate and it was his idea to offer a five year buffer period for registrants of existing .uk domain names to claim the shorter extension.
.uk, .Wales and .Cymru join a myriad of proposed extensions such as .London and .amazon, which was refused to the online company on the basis that it ought to belong to the rain forest, if anyone. Other companies have proposed their own extensions.
In addition, next summer sees the development of initiatives to make the UK namespace more secure, as well as a revised Registrar Agreement and the company’s first Data Quality policy.
A definitive launch date for the .uk domains as well as the .Wales and .Cymru will be announced by February 2014. You can register your interest for .Wales and .Cymru now.