Nominet Shelves Second Level .UK Registrations

Nominet logoThe controversial plan to introduce second level .uk registrations has been shelved for the time being following a lack of agreement being reached among stakeholders during consultation on how Nominet’s plans would be implemented.

The plans included charging a premium fee for the second level registrations, or direct.uk as Nominet called the plans, to allow for the shorter more memorable addresses.

The decision follows a board meeting Tuesday with Nominet saying they will respond to feedback by looking at whether a revised proposal will address issues raised in the recent consultation.

In their announcement, Nominet said “it was clear from the feedback that there was not a consensus of support for the direct.uk proposals as presented, with some concerns cutting across different stakeholder groups. Although shorter domains (e.g. nominet.uk rather than nominet.org.uk) were considered desirable, many respondents felt that the release mechanism did not give enough weighting to existing registrants, and could lead to confusion if they could not obtain the corresponding domain.”

Following the consultation, with both formal and informal responses given, Nominet noted “the objective of raising trust/security was welcomed, but many disagreed with the proposed approach, suggesting that standards should be raised across the whole of the namespace. On individual security features, there was qualified support for options such as DNSSEC, but scepticism about whether the proposed trustmark would be effective. There was significant support for address validation, though some would like us to do more, and others would like us to do the validation process differently. There was clear support that the sale of domain names should be only through registrars who could meet a level of service and data quality.”

As a result, Nominet is going to explore whether it is possible to present a revised proposal that meets the principles of increasing trust and security and maintaining the relevance of the .uk proposition in a changing landscape.

Over the coming months, Nominet says this work will explore:

  • A revised phased release mechanism based largely on the prior registrations of domains in existing third levels within .uk and in which contention between different applicants for the same domain name should be reduced or eliminated.
  • Measures to improve security across the whole of the .uk namespace. This would include increased focus on encouraging the adoption of DNSSEC.
  • A firm focus on registrant verification and some form of UK presence.
  • Further investigations into the impact on the SME sector.
  • An appropriate pricing model.