This week Nominet announced a three month consultation on a new top-level domain (.uk) that could soon be available alongside the long established and highly popular .co.uk extension, but what is it all about?
The wider TLD market
As discussed on this blog previously the liberalisation of the top level domain market by ICANN is set to further expand the potential options for domain name purchasers, but with the obvious availability advantages will come potentially great confusion for the consumer. The .uk would be designed to combat some of that and provide a trusted and accepted standard for UK based businesses, giving greater clarity to potential visitors.
More stringent checks means more authority
The current .co.uk registration requirements are very wide, you don’t even need to have a UK address, meaning that the system is potentially open to abuse. Under the .uk system every registrant would need to have a valid UK and this would be regularly policed and checked. Coupled with a digital signature and a supporting trustmark, those operating .uk domain names would immediately be identifiable as rightful owners of the domain and UK-based. Visitors to .uk domains would also be able to do so in the knowledge that all .uk domains will be safe to visit, subject to daily monitoring for malicious software and viruses. The aim is to give a boost and advantage to legitimate British businesses
Shorter for Social Sharing
As anybody writing a Twitter message will know, in the modern era the extra three characters for a message afforded by a .uk over a .co.uk domain can be crucial to getting your message across. In the era of social search where full URLs potentially win over shortened links, so a brand operating from brand.uk could have a massive competitive advantage.
Not just another domain
So in fact, with the tighter security, more shareable nature and the more stringent ownership rules, the .uk in it’s initially proposed form is one of the most innovative and exciting domains for many years. Rather than being just another domain to add to your portfolio, it is a domain that immediately would make a statement to customers, competitors and those within your own business. If you are committed to safe, secure business and being proud of your British base then the proposed qualities of the .uk domain are likely to prove incredible value for less than the cost of a decent three course meal for two. Certainly at 123-reg we are fully behind the current proposals and looking forward to seeing how the plans develop. That is what this consultation period is about though to gather feedback and thoughts of those it most effects… you. So if you do have concerns of even words of support, your input into the consultation would certainly not be wasted.