Nominet has recently announced that they will be going ahead with the introduction of the second level .uk domain names – so for example havenswift-hosting.uk will be available – this is expected to happen during the Summer of 2014 and the pricing for these domains will be the same as for all other .uk domain available through Nominet.
All existing .uk domains will continue to run as normal with no changes at all. Current holders of any type of other .uk domain (such as .co.uk, org.uk etc) will have the equivalent .uk domain reserved for them for five years from the date of release and can register that domain instead of or as well as the same .uk domain during that time. There are a few rules to be aware of with regard to who will have the .uk domain reserved for them
Nominet say that from their records, over 96% of all registered domains will have the equivalent .uk domain reserved for the registered owner. For the remaining less than 4% of domains where two or more people own different suffixes, then the owner of the .co.uk will be given priority.
Nominet has undertaken extensive consultation from current registrars, current domain owners and also consumers and report that a large majority in each category thought it was a good idea. There have been a few, very vocal, disagreements that this is the right thing to do, mainly based around the argument that businesses are going to feel that they have to purchase the new domain in addition to their current domain in order to protect their online identity. While that argument may turn out to be true, and Nominet did extensive research around this very question, unless you own and actively use, and therefore want to protect, a very large number of domains, the additional cost per year is minimal. Another argument against this is that Nominet and the larger domain registration companies are going to benefit extensively from the new business.
The main supporting arguments for going ahead with this are that there are already a number of second level domains (both generic and country specific) and that the UK should offer the same, and especially with the upcoming release of hundreds of new TLD’s (the first of which have now been released), consumers are already going to have a very large choice of new domain name extensions.