Nominet have announced they are replacing the current domain availability checker (DAC) with two new domain checking tools and to registrars, that they will stop sending pro forma invoices to registrants as of February.
Regarding the domain availability checker, first of these is the real time DAC, similar to the existing DAC service with the same access levels and some minor changes to the query data it returns.
The second DAC service is a new domain tool, the time delay DAC. This service will return information about domain name availability, however results will be delayed by 100ms. This makes it an ideal tool for registrars with a large number of customers or prospective customers who need to query domain availability, particularly services that make suggestions of alternative or complementary domain names.
Full details about these new Domain availability checker products are available at www.nominet.org.uk/other/dac/introduction/.
Nominet is also allowing increased access limits to the existing DAC tool as an interim solution for registrars who are finding the current limit restricts their ability to make new registrations and offer a complete package of registration services. Details about these interim access levels and how to apply are available are available at www.nominet.org.uk/other/dac/interimaccesslevels/.
Regarding the changes in the renewals processes, pro forma invoices will be replaced by a programme of reminder emails that are sent to the registrant by Nominet. Nominet will only send these emails after the expiry date has been reached and, in all cases when the domain name is on a tag, the registrant will be advised to contact their registrar to renew their domain name.
A full explanation of the changes to the renewal process is available at www.nominet.org.uk/registrars/renewals/renewalschanges/.
To register your .uk domain name, check out Europe Registry here.