Nominet deadline for .uk feedback closes 23rd September, after that it is too late to save .co.uk domain names

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The Nominet .uk 3 month consultation closes on 23rd September 2013, so please add your feedback before it is too late. This push for feedback is being undertaken by http://www.YourUK.org.uk, as it believes that NOT enough attention is given to this important topic, which could adversely affect the owners of several million .co.uk domains.

“.uk proposes the biggest change to the .uk namespace since it began” those are the words of the CEO of Nominet from her Nominet blog. Yet the consultation into the introduction of the new domain name extension .uk (e.g. Gap.uk) in 2014 has not attracted media attention and therefore in turn has produced a low number of ‘feedback responses’ to Nominet according to http://www.YourUK.org.uk.

It is not too late to read the Nominet .uk proposal and enter feedback in to the consultation process at Nominet’s website http://www.Nominet.org.uk but the online consultation closes on 23rd September 2013.

Additional information about the potential introduction of .uk, can be found at http://www.YourUk.org.uk including a report “Get involved or lose your .uk” which was released on 24th August 2013 which can be viewed there. The report explains some of the issues and potential problems with the current .uk proposal, if it is not modified and goes ahead as it is, such as;

“ 'Oldest registration gets first chance'; so up to 250,000 .co.uk domain holders will not obtain the equivalent .uk under the current proposal including: Hotmail.co.uk Dreams.co.uk Windows.co.uk Food.co.uk Sky.co.uk ee.co.uk audible.co.uk freelancer.co.uk independent.co.uk gap.co.uk instyle.co.uk Art.co.uk DayNurseries.co.uk Unwins.co.uk ITS.co.uk Adams.co.uk Bes.co.uk FlowersDirect.co.uk Custard.co.uk Build.co.uk TopMail.co.uk TheBelfry.co.uk Benedict.co.uk Smiles.co.uk Tamba.co.uk Pims.co.uk Planet.co.uk Prospects.co.uk PopupStands.co.uk PaydayLoans.co.uk oba.co.uk RadioCity.co.uk Alli.co.uk to name but a few."

Also at http://www.YourUk.org.uk; it is interesting to read the full feedback to the .uk proposal from Alex Bligh; a founder of Nominet who served as non-executive director of Nominet for 11 years up to 2007, published on 28th August 2013, which includes statements such as;

“Existing registrants would be disadvantaged. By presenting (probably falsely) registrations in the second level as more trustworthy, this implies registrations at the third level (i.e. all existing registrations) are somehow less trustworthy, or in some way ‘dodgy.'”

From the Nominet website .uk Questions and Answers section:
Q. "Why are you proposing this change?"
A. "We want consumers and businesses to choose a domain name that ends in .uk – and benefit from our commitment to running a trusted, safe and secure online space.
From next year, there will be over 1,000 new options to join the familiar .co.uk or .com. We believe that many businesses and consumers would be attracted to shorter domain names, and it is important for the long-term future of .uk that we offer more choice."

The main new domain extensions that will affect .co.uk ownership are arguably .wales, .cymru, .scot and .London; none of which are shorter than .co.uk?

In Germany there was a study undertaken, were it was reported more than 80% of the participating German registrars do not expect the new 1,000 Top Level Domains (TLDs) to cause a drop in domain registrations under the national country code .de. Details of the study can be seen in a press release from Denic, the German .de registrar at http://www.denic.de/en/denic-in-dialogue/press-releases/press/3707.html

Some might say German has a second level domain name now (.de rather than .co.de), so that is why they are not concerned. However if you delve more into the report you will find it is to do with local identity of the domain name extension e.g. .de for Germany not the length of the domain.

Nominet should not use these new domain names as cover for introducing a new product that will at least double their turnover and cause untold problems for existing UK domain owners.

For those that don’t want their UK website to be regarding as “dodgy” and/or lose their “.uk equivalent domain name”, http://www.YourUk.org.uk recommends they act now and provide feedback on .uk to Nominet before it is too late.

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Stephen Wilde
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