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In 2013, the governing body of all .uk domains (.co.uk / .org.uk / .me.uk etc) Nominet plans to release the top level domain .uk to all UK businesses and individuals. This change is being proposed to give consumers more choice and improve website security; but the impact reaches far beyond that.

As it stands, 93% of all .uk domains are in the form of .co.uk and the Internet is worth £121bn – this accounts for 8.3% of UK GDP. The introduction of a simple .uk extension will cost UK businesses £50,000,000 but could lead to a much more secure space for consumers.

Here’s a quick look at what you need to know when it comes to .uk.

Who can register a .uk?

Much like the .us, the .uk domain will be reserved for those that are UK based.

How is .uk more secure than any other domain?

The .uk will require registrant verification (as above) and will also make use of malware scanning and DNS sec.

How much does a .uk domain cost?

Actual cost has not been confirmed but is expected to be £20/year.

When does the new domain come into effect?

The .uk domain is still in a consultation period; individuals, businesses and registrars are currently debating the extension. Providing there are no issues, Nominet plans to launch .uk at some point in 2013.

How do I register a .uk domain?

There is currently no registration process, however it is likely that trademark holders will be given first refusal – already this has raised skepticism.

What now?

Nominet is currently looking for feedback on the .uk domain – especially feedback from business owners. You can fill out their online survey or complete the PDF and email it to direct@nominet.org.uk