“Third level registrations [are] out of step with the rest of the industry” says Lesley Cowley, CEO for the .uk registry Nominet, in a blog post explaining why the organisation is having a second bite at the cherry after the first failed.
In the post, Cowley says that even though .uk is a success with over 10 million registrations, Nominet needs to consider how “uk will remain relevant over a 10 or 15 year period.”
“We cannot ignore increasingly challenging market conditions, reduced renewal rates and a significant slowdown in growth. However, the imminent launch of new gTLDs also represents a huge opportunity for the millions of businesses who are not currently online and want to secure their own domain name for the first time. They will soon be facing a vast array of domain name options and we believe that our revised proposals would appeal to these potential registrants.”
The introduction of new gTLDs is an unknown factor. Cowley says she believes ccTLDs for English-speaking countries are at a greater threat than ccTLDs for non-English-speaking countries. Cowley says “I would argue that they will face less competition than English language domains. And importantly, .de already offers registrations at the second level.” DENIC has already said they do not believe new gTLDs pose any threat to them.
A consultation paper is currently out for comment with important issues addressed, such as whether existing third level registrants should be entitled to the second level equivalent, reserving names for public bodies.
Cowley concludes by saying Nominet’s “research tells us that second level domains are desirable, and our assessment of the domain name market’s liberalisation suggests that we ought to put changes in place now to secure the future of the .uk namespace. We do not believe that all new gTLDs will be successful, but if a few become direct competitors that will have a significant impact on the .uk registry.”
More information on the second level consultation is available at www.nominet.org.uk/SLDConsultation.