Nominet wants to let UK companies register domain names directly under .uk for the first time.
The company today launched a major consultation, seeking industry and internet users’ input on a plan to open up the second level to verified British businesses.
Today’s it’s only possible to register .uk domains at the third level — .co.uk and .org.uk are the most popular suffixes. But if Nominet gets positive feedback, you’d be able to register example.uk instead.
Second-level domains would come with a few catches, however. Nominet says it wants to create a higher-security zone.
They’d be more expensive: £20 per year instead of £2.50.
Registrants would have to be based in the UK, with verifiable contact information, and domains would only start resolving post-verification.
DNSSEC might also be mandatory.
It’s expected that registrants would be prohibited from selling third-level domains in their zones. There could be large numbers of reserved names, such as the names of towns.
There might even be restrictions on which registrars can sell the names.
There are obviously no plans to get rid of .co.uk and the other public suffixes, but over time I can see a movement in that direction.
The exact rules will depend to an extent on the results of the consultation, which can be downloaded here. The deadline for responses is January 7.