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New UK Domains Plan To Proceed In 2014

 11:55 am on Nov 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

Confusion will reign, unless the original domain holder of .co.uk will be allowed to take the .uk

UK websites will soon be able to use shorter addresses despite concerns the move could cause confusion.

The plan will allow owners to buy a "name.uk" web address to use instead of or in addition to "name.co.uk", "name.org.uk" and other alternatives.

Nominet, the organisation responsible, had previously shelved the idea after acknowledging it would confuse people.

But after making some changes and carrying out a second consultation it said it now planned to proceed.

The decision will affect more than 10 million customers who currently use domains ending in .uk when it begins in the middle of next year.New UK Domains Plan To Proceed In 2014 [bbc.co.uk]


brotherhood of LAN

 12:34 pm on Nov 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

Nice idea, if it was the mid-nineties and it saved few bytes of data here and there.


 1:01 pm on Nov 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

According to the Telegraph, everyone that owns a .co.uk will be offered the .uk automatically.

However, there will be additional cost.


 1:33 pm on Nov 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

Rearrange the words off and rip to form a well known phrase or expression!


 2:43 pm on Nov 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

Its not broken, so lets fix it.


 3:00 pm on Nov 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

The additional cost is not huge, but it adds up.

This is going to turn out to be a frustration.

For sure, it's going to present some with opportunities to make money.


 5:17 pm on Nov 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

According to the Telegraph, everyone that owns a .co.uk will be offered the .uk automatically.

Presumably owning an org.uk will be considered "second class".

Even though they cost the same.



 7:28 pm on Nov 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

How strange, I was taxing my car online only a few days ago and was wondering what had happened to this.

It'll be interesting to see how many take-up on the keyword domains they have, I've recently released about 30 or so including some .co.uk names however there would be three I would definitely buy.


 12:10 am on Nov 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

The history to this is that Nominet has (now) got a voting structure which favours the larger registrars. Members (registrars) get votes somewhat proportional to the number of domains they have registered, this means the top few members effectively influence the UK namespace to their financial advantage.

The "need" for the .uk rollout has been pushed by those members who will benefit most from it. There have been a couple of consultations on this and many smaller members (as well as members of the public) have put forward strong objections to the rollout and some have suggested alternatives as it has been clear for a while that some rollout would happen. It should be noted that there are members of staff at Nominet who are very unhappy with this being pushed through, although the executives seem to be happy given they are on performance related pay.

The draft proposals that Nominet came out with (twice) were roundly rejected at the consultation stage; although they could have chosen to continue with the poor suggestions they have chosen to go with one of the most acceptable ways in which the rollout could happen. It's a classic case of offering something terrible in the hope people won't complain too much when the next offer is just poor.

If a rollout had to happen then the easiest way would have been for an automatic, no cost, redirection of .uk to .co.uk addresses - but this did not provide revenue. What we have is a situation where there will be confusion and additional cost but in the long term .uk will be seen as the commercial extension for the UK and .org.uk will remain the non-profit. All other UK extensions are almost being ignored for this, although there are circumstances where they could be offered the .uk

As stated above by another member, this should have happened a long time ago. It is happening now though and I think that we will see some big companies switching for two obvious reasons (amongst many others):

  • Brand.uk is nicer than Brand.co.uk
  • Brand.uk is 3 characters shorter, great for mobile url entry (although I know lots of people just search)

    Anyone thinking they can go out and register domains right now to get at the front of the queue should note there is a cut off date which complicated rules apply - not that there's going to be much worth registering that hasn't been taken in .co.uk already...

  • Noddegamra

     9:01 am on Nov 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

    The way this should have been handled is those with .co.uk should also be given the .uk address. Everyone knows each site owner in the UK would want/need both, so rather than trying to just push us to pay through fear of losing a domain which could catch on, they should both resolve at the same address or something. That, or we get given the option of which one to use (as I'm sure there are SEO and code implications otherwise).


     1:07 pm on Nov 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

    It's a license to print money. All my domains are .co.uk, and I'm not keen, because it seems like a bullying move.

    I can see this will cause problems if it gets wide uptake and awareness, but first people are going to have to get used to seeing it. When that happens, expect a lot of linkrot and redirection issues.


     2:01 pm on Nov 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

    I can't understand why .co.uk was ever used in the first place........


     2:50 am on Nov 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

    Well, at least they're giving you 5 years to decide whether to use the .uk second level domain if you already have the .co.uk or org.uk...


     3:58 am on Nov 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

    Well, at least they're giving you 5 years to decide whether to use the .uk second level domain if you already have the .co.uk or org.uk.
    That's nice of them. What a bunch of plonkers!



     10:12 pm on Nov 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

    Huge numbers of .co.uk domains are on sale by foreign speculators with a lot of them based in Turkey. Nominet are perfectly happy about this and no doubt these same squatters will be offered the .uk ones too, as long as they pay for them. A short while ago they cancelled a whole stack of UK-held domains because they claimed they couldn't contact the registrants but I didn't see a single foreign held one treated the same way. Nominet is of course a very ethical and well run company.


     9:27 am on Feb 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

    Notice that they have dropped the original reason for doing this and are now doing it for no particular reason.

    Originally, the idea was that they would verify owners of .uk domains, so that only genuine UK organisations could use them.

    What has now happened is that they only require a UK address, other than a PO Box, which is not that difficult to arrange.

    It also removes what verification there was. We used to know that at least .gov domains belonged to genuine government organisations and .ac to genuine academic ones. Now, with most government organisations (and I suspect some academic ones will follow) moving to .uk we lose that.

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