Nominet u-turns on .uk domains

Shorter UK web addresses are on the way with Nominet performing CPR on a plan to allow domain owners to purchase .uk domain names after abandoning it less than a year ago.

Nominet, the .uk domain name registry, is launching the additional addresses next summer and it will allow .co.uk, .org.uk and various other UK domain name owners to use the equivalent .uk address alongside the other ones it already owns.

“The .uk namespace is one of the most popular and trusted available and we’re committed to ensuring it stays up-to-date and relevant,” said Nominet CEO Lesley Cowley. “We’re excited to offer the option of a shorter, snappier domain name that we believe will appeal to both our existing customers and the businesses and bloggers of tomorrow.”

Some 10 million existing customers that own an address administered by Nominet will be offered the equivalent address in .uk form with the company giving them five years to decide whether or not to use the address.

The five-year waiting period has been put in place by Nominet to help businesses take up a new domain at a time that “coincides with when they next change signage or stationary, so they don’t incur unnecessary incremental costs.”

If the desired address is yet to be registered as a .co.uk, .org.uk, or another UK domain, Nominet will allow a customer to buy it on a first-come, first-served basis from launch.

Each new domain will cost £3.50 per year for a single year and £2.50 per year for a multi-year registration, which is the same price as the existing .co.uk domain but more than the first proposal to charge £20 a year for new addresses.

Nominet originally abandoned its plan to allow .uk domains back in February with insufficient support and customer confusion given as the reason behind it being shelved.

A definitive launch date for the .uk domain suffix will be announced in February 2014 and it sets it on a collision course with the plethora of other suffixes that will be launching next year, which includes the eagerly anticipated .london suffix.