Nominet keep the crowds waiting
If your up to date with all the latest goings on in the domain name world you will probably be aware that Nominet.org.uk, who look after the extensions .org.uk, .co.uk and .me.uk for us all in the United Kingdom have decided to jump on the ‘new extensions’ bandwagon and consider introducing a new extension to the UK web addresses.
But it seems that Nominet have a more dificult decision than would first appear when wanting to introduce the new .uk suffix to the UK.
If your not aware of the situation here is a brief outline.
At the moment here in the UK we have .co.uk, .org.uk, and .me.uk. That means that if you type in a word into your browser, eg. dgd, then follow with either the .co.uk, .org.uk or the .me.uk then you will get a website up in your browser (assuming somebody owns the domain name and has put a website on it) just as you do when you type in dgd.co.uk, you get us.
Now there are 3 types of endings you could type in the UK, dgd.co.uk (us) dgd.org.uk (somebody else, not us) or dgd.me.uk (again not us) each one will get a different website.
You still following, yes, right then, here is where it gets complicated. Nominet want to introduce just a .uk ending. so you could then type in a 4th extension, eg, dgd.uk. Get me!
But the questions Nominet have to decide is-
Does this complicate matters. People searching for eg, dgd might type in just dgd.uk instead of .co.uk believing it to be us but infact it could be somebody else because we don’t own the name. Or they could be looking for the .org.uk or .me.uk version of the dgd website.
Who gets the first right to buy the new extension. At the moment Nominets position is one where the oldest, continually registed domain name would get the first chance of owning the new corresponding .uk. So for example, if we were the oldest registed domain for DGD between the .co.uk .org.uk and the .me.uk domains then we would get first chance to buy the new name under the .uk suffx.
There is also an arguement that says all the existing .co.uk’s should get first chance of owning the .uk because the .co.uk extension is far more popular, with many more registed .co.uk domains than any of the other .org.uk or .me.uk.
The arguement also highlights that in its purest concept that .co.uk represents business, hence the co.uk short for company in the UK and .org.uk representing organistations in the UK, with .me.uk domains for personal websites. Therefore the .uk should go to the .co.uk owner automatically because businesses spend millions of pounds a year promoting the .co.uk brand and to suddenly loose the .uk could damage their business through lost traffic, confusion with names, cybersquatting. lost emails etc.
So where are we now?
As I was writing this post I have been given the nod that Nominet have released a press (at last, the crowds shout) release favoring the new release of the .UK extension.
The release date will be summer of 2014
If you want to read the press release here is a link
At the time of writing I am unaware of who will get the first ‘right to buy’ for the .uk but once I have studied the press release I will update this post. You can find an update here