Nominet Bins its Plans for .UK Domains

Last year Nominet set out a proposal to introduce domain names to UK individuals and businesses that ended in not, but just ‘.uk’. We wrote a few pieces on the subject and concluded that while there were a few advantages, the confusion, chaos and extortion was all too much to bear.

The news that Nominet has now decided to bin that plan comes as a relief to many webmasters who faced higher costs, domain squatting, trademark issues and confusion. The decision to not go ahead was taken after a 3 month consultation on the proposal; but Nominet’s reasoning for scrapping the plan was not based on this feedback, but on questions in the consultation that were “confusing and potentially misinterpreted”. They have since given a clear example of one of the questions deemed to be misleading (listed at the bottom of this article).

This does seem to suggest that Nominet does not believe the proposal to be a bad idea; more that the consultation was just badly worded and therefore the true opinion of the public is yet to be recognised. At Inbound we see this argument as a little thin given the overwhelming negative response to the .uk proposal.

A Question From the Nominet Consultation

Do you agree that Nominet should consider the provision of a more secure .uk domain name service with registrations directly at the second level?

Nominet’s Concerns Regarding This Question:

Due to the complex nature of the proposal, this question was asked after all the specific features had been explained. However, the answer ‘Yes, as we have outlined above’ could have been misinterpreted by many as ‘Yes, but with the changes that I have outlined above in response to the other questions’.

Exemplifying this, in the comments for 11a and 11b, 41 respondents expressed concern or disagreement with the proposal, even though they answered ‘Yes, as we have outlined above’ to 11a. The question also contains two aspects: (a) a more secure .uk domain name service, and (b) registrations directly at the second level. For example, respondents who, agreed with the principles of (a),but under no circumstances (b), the multiple choice answers available may not have fulfilled their needs.

Given these potentially confusing factors, it is recommended that Nominet do not place too much weight on the data produced by this question, and instead look at the overall positive vs. negative responses to each individual feature/question.

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