Introduction of .uk – Don’t Do It!

by Edwin on October 31, 2012

I’ve put together a detailed position paper (26 pages, incorporating over 100 hours of research) showing EXACTLY how Nominet’s attempt to roll out .uk is contrary to the precedent set in every other country.

Nominet are gung-ho about it of course, because (by my estimate, based on the uptake of 2LD domains in other 3LD->2LD transitions) they stand to make an overnight windfall of the order of £50,000,000 (i.e. more than twice their 2011 revenue from domain registrations).

And yet in their .uk FAQ and supporting documents they continue to coyly suggest that there might not even be any profits, and certainly they’re not keep to draw attention to the fact that the .uk launch will triple their business overnight.

At the same time, they’re planning to destroy all trust in .co.uk (which ironically they’ve measured as rising year after year after year) and ignore the billions of pounds that UK businesses have poured into branding their online identities under .co.uk.

You see, you simply CAN’T introduce something “new and improved” into a market that has been dominated by a particular product and expect there to be no consequences.

Nominet’s proposal to roll out additional trust and security features only for .uk is like a car manufacturer only putting airbags and seatbelts (or brakes?) on one particular model. Can you imagine anyone buying the old models after that?

Nominet has done an absolutely exemplary job of “burying the lead”. Of the 51 press stories in the aftermath of their 1 October call for a consultation, only 2 even mentioned the fact that .co.uk name owners will lose out, and even then only in passing. The rest of the media was successfully distracted by the shiny baubles Nominet carefully dangled in front of them (security features, trust mark, a putative £27 billion in damage from cybercrime, etc.)

You can read all about their grab for cash and about how all other countries conducted their own transitions at http://www.mydomainnames.co.uk/

The funny thing is that their proposal would literally NEVER fly if they asked the real stakeholders – the 3,000,000+ businesses that have registered over 9,000,000 .co.uk domain names, and explained to them exactly what the consequences of .uk would be to their own businesses.

By only letting their Members know what’s happening, it’s like a convention of farmers being asked to vote on Christmas without asking the turkeys!

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