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The new .uk domain name – What is it and how does it affect you?

Matt

Back in June 2013 Nominet announced their intention to make .uk domain names available. “Sounds great, but what does that mean to me?” I hear you ask. Well, let’s start at the beginning.

What even is a domain name?

A domain name can be thought of as a website address (it can be other things too though). EMSL’s domain name is emsl.co.uk, the BBC’s is bbc.co.uk. You get the idea. 

Who is Nominet?

Nominet is the organisation in charge of looking after the vast majority of domain names that end with .uk - including .co.uk, .org.uk, .me.uk and many more. There are other organisations that look after domains that don’t end with .uk (for example .com and .net).

The vast majority of businesses like yours will buy their domain names via third parties. At EMSL, we sell domain names to our customers, so do big companies such as 123Reg or Namesco. All of us, one way or another, register any domain name ending with .uk via Nominet, whether directly or indirectly.  

What has been announced?

Nominet has announced that from 10th June 2014, shorter, simpler .uk domain names will become available for the first time. There's no need to worry though, all existing domains including .co.uk, .org.uk and .me.uk will continue to run as normal. There will just be another option to choose from.

For example we will be able to register emsl.uk. Whether we do or don’t, we will still be able to keep our existing emsl.co.uk domain name.  

What should I do about it?

Well, the good news is that if you’re an EMSL customer and we look after your domain names, you might not have to do much at all! We can take care of it all for you at the right times and very affordably too. In due course, we’ll let you know what is required, when and how much it will cost, then you can decide what we do about it. For the time being though, it is enough to know that if you own a .co.uk domain name you will very likely get first refusal on owning the .uk equivalent. We’ll be in touch with more information in the coming months.

If you’re not an EMSL customer – or we don’t look after your domain names yet – do get in touch, I’m sure we can help.

Tell me more...

In case you’re interested, here is a quick summary of the additional detail:

  • If you own a .co.uk domain name you will more than likely get first refusal on registering the .uk equivalent. You will have to pay to register it. You will also keep your .co.uk domain name which will be completely unaffected.
  • If you don’t own the .co.uk but you do own the .org.uk or the .me.uk, you may still be able to secure the .uk domain. Much depends on whether someone else already owns the .co.uk. If they do, they will get first refusal and unfortunately you will have to wait until 2019 (or buy it from them in the meantime).
  • You can check who has the right to register any new .uk domain using Nominet’s Rights Lookup tool. To use it enter the domain you want (e.g. emsl.uk) and it will tell you who gets first refusal on that domain (in this case the owner of emsl.co.uk).
  • First refusal lasts 5 years! So from 10th June 2014 you will have until 10th June 2019 to register the .uk equivalent. No one else will be able to register it in this time. Afterwards though, anyone will be able to register it.
  • Prices haven’t been announced yet, but we’re not expecting a hefty premium on these new domain names.
  • If nobody owns the .co.uk or other equivalent domain already, you will be able to register brand new .uk domain names from 10th June 2014. If you are interested in doing so, just get in touch.

Want further advice?

As always, EMSL customers are free to give us a call or drop us an email to go through this in some more detail, please do let us know if you need our help.

The new .uk domain name – What is it and how does it affect you?










Nominet is the organisation in charge of looking after the vast majority of domain names that end with .uk










...from 10th June 2014, shorter, simpler .uk domain names will become available for the first time










...we’re not expecting a hefty premium on these new domain names.

We’d love to show you what we can do