Nominet, the .uk registry, today outlined its plan to start releasing one and two-character .co.uk domains before the end of 2010.
The launch plan comprises two sunrise periods and a landrush. Contested applications in all three phases will be settled by an auction, with profits going to the Nominet Trust.
The first sunrise is for holders of UK-enforceable trademarks, when the mark was registered and in use in the UK before January 1, 2008. The second will allow holders of unregistered rights to participate.
The landrush will be open to all. Applications will be handled by approved .uk registrars.
Nominet said it plans to publish the launch timeline in more detail on November 1, but that the first sunrise will open before the end of the year.
The list of names to be released is published here (pdf). It includes all 10 digits and all 26 letters of the alphabet under .co.uk, .net.uk, .org.uk and .me.uk, with the exception of u.net.uk, which is already registered.
The vast majority of two-character combinations will also be released under all four of these 2LDs, with the exception of a handful of old registrations such as bt.co.uk and existing 3LD namespaces such as ac.net.uk.
Domains matching existing two-letter country-code TLDs do not appear to be exempt.