The UK’s portfolio of domain names is getting a bit of a shakeup this year with a major new domain type going on sale.
Nominet, the UK’s naming authority, is introducing a new .uk domain to sit alongside the existing .co.uk, .org.uk and .me.uk domains already used by millions of businesses, organisations and individuals.
The new domain will go on sale on 10 June 2014 and offers UK websites the chance to use shorter, snappier domains – for example, seenit.co.uk could become seenit.uk.
To ensure existing companies and other domain owners don’t find their brands and names hijacked, Nominet will offer “the majority” of existing registrants first refusal on the new, shorter version.
“Domain names ending in .co.uk, .org.uk, .me.uk, .ltd.uk, .plc.uk and .net.uk are eligible, subject to the outlined criteria. Domains that were registered before 23.59hrs on 28 October will have rights to the equivalent new .uk domain, provided there was no other corresponding .co.uk, .org.uk, .me.uk, .ltd.uk, .plc.uk or .net.uk registered.
“Where there are two or more domains with the same website name, the .co.uk will be offered the .uk equivalent. Where there is no .co.uk, the .org.uk will be offered the new .uk equivalent. Where there is no .co.uk or .org.uk the .me.uk will be offered the new .uk equivalent.
“All .co.uk domains registered after 28 October 2013 and before the new .uk domains are launched will also have rights to the .uk equivalent, as long as there is no ‘clash’ with any existing domains meeting the criteria above.”
Anyone with the right to the equivalent new .uk domain has until 10 June 2019 to decide if they wish to register it. After that date it’ll become available for anyone to register and use.
Nominet is warning domain owners that if they fail to renew a domain for which they currently have the automatic right to the new .uk version those rights will end on expiry of their current domain.
A new Rights lookup tool makes it simple to see how has the right-of-registration – just type in the shorter .uk domain to check.