Reply to post: Expect more of the same...

Chancers keep buying up dot-UK company name domains: Got a problem? That'll be £750 for Nominet to rule on it

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Expect more of the same...

If I recall correctly the original deadline for .co.uk name holders to register the corresponding "bare" .uk variant was 10 June 2019. Those variants unregistered by the cut-off date started to become available to others not long after that date. I understand that name registrars then had the opportunity to buy names before they went on general release. About 2 million names became available over a few days at the start of July. It was a competitive episode, registrars could increase their opportunities of grabbing names by paying a fee to Nominet of up to £90,000. The following week remaining names were made available to the general public.

In the year leading up to the cut-off date many registrars speculatively registered the bare .uk variants of their client's .co.uk names with a view to encouraging the .co.uk name owner to pay for subsequent annual renewals.

A name that has been registered but not subsequently renewed is suspended for a further 90 days before release. The exact time and date of release is staggered.

That means this story will run for at least a year as more names reach renewal date and are allowed to lapse.

A domain name holder needs to make a decision as to whether to retain the bare uk name(s). The need to retain a name is greater if a name is desirable.

"Desirable" includes short, single word (especially proper-nouns), and actively used names

It seems to me that in the 5 years since they became available, relatively few organisations actively use the bare uk variant of the .co.uk name they use for such as web and email addresses. It still has a poor recognition factor and risks being "untrusted". I would guess that many people, seeing a link to tesco.uk would be suspicious. They're familiar with tesco.co.uk so what's this? A fake of some sort? My advice to tesco would be to hold the name but not to use it, not even routing it to the "correct" domain name. My opinion is that the bare uk names are useless except as a revenue generator for Nominet. They should be provided free or for a nominal charge to holders of the corresponding .co.uk name. All Nominet would need to do is add a field to the .co.uk registration details to indicate "also holds bare uk".

There's no good reason to hold a long unwieldy hyphenated or multi-word name unless the name is in active use. If some guy in India wants to buy that let him waste his money, a pity UK names cost so little (but I'm sure Nominet will continue with unnecessary price hikes so they can pay themselves more).

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