.UK registrants with a third-level domain name have less than three months left to secure the shorter .uk equivalent before it’s made available to the public.
The deadline to move from a third-level domain (.co.uk, .org.uk, .me.uk, .net.uk, .plc.uk or ltd.uk) to the second-level domain is 05:00 UTC (Universal Time Coordinated, formerly GMT) on 25th June. This marks the end of the ‘Right of Registration’ period set aside by Nominet in June 2014 to allow these third-level domain registrants plenty of time to decide if they want the shorter name.
Those with .co.uk registrations before midnight on 28th October 2013 were given five years. If a co.uk wasn’t registered at the time, rights would have passed to the org.uk and then the me.uk domain name.
Check to see if you have reserved .uk rights
What happens after the deadline?
All previously reserved but unregistered domains will become generally available in July. Of the original 10 million domains who had their rights reserved in June 2014, there are now 3.2 million domains that haven’t registered to the shorter .uk equivalent while 2 million have been registered.
Nominet have contacted registrants over the Right of Registration period through direct contact, webinars, regular promotion and registrar initiatives. Look out for an advertising campaign in May.
Eleanor Bradley, COO of Nominet, said: “For some companies, they will really want to secure the shorter domain for their own use, now or in the future, or to guarantee nobody else can use it.
“Others are happy with the domain they have and don’t want to register or use another. It’s important to stress to those people that the existing domain will continue as normal, and no action is required.”
The global domain name system rules that the same set of characters before the dot (known as the ‘string’) can appear in names with different suffixes. So, the same name with .co.uk, .org.uk and .com can belong to three different people.
Bradley adds: “In the vast majority of cases, very similar domains co-exist with no problems. But for the rare cases where someone is abusing their domain or using it for illegitimate purposes, we have safeguards in place so action can be taken swiftly.”
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