Nominet, the .UK registry, announced this week that the wholesale price it charges registrars for .uk domains (e.g. .uk, .co.uk, .org.uk and .me.uk) will increase from the current £2.50 to £3.75, a 50 percent increase, per year from 1 March 2016.
The increase comes as many other registries are lowering their wholesale fee, although most of these have significantly higher fees.
“We’re committed to running a first class service for .UK registrants, including our renowned customer service, and we’re doing more than ever before to ensure the .UK space is a safe and trusted home for all,” said Russell Haworth, Nominet CEO, defending the increase. “But costs have risen considerably since we last changed the price, and we need to compete in a promotion-driven industry. We won’t compromise on the quality of our service or dial back our efforts to counter cyber-threats head on. However, it’s important to us that .UK domains represent value for money as well as quality, and the price we have set reflects that.”
The wholesale cost of .UK domain names for registrations of two years or more has not changed since 1999. As part of the company’s commercial strategy, pricing will now be reviewed annually.
There are some opposed to the increase in the fee and an online petition has been set up, which, at the time of writing had 78 registrant signatures and 47 Nominet member’s signatures.
On the same day Nominet released an updated Terms & Conditions document, which outlines the service Nominet provides and obligations on .uk domain name registrants, for comment. One of the changes, according to The Register is that Nominet would gain “the ability to make further price increases without having to go through a public consultation and without having to justify any increase in terms of cost-recovery.”
This follows a comprehensive review to ensure it is up to date with current operating practice, and is as clear and succinct as possible for registrants.
Stakeholders are invited to give feedback on the proposed Terms & Conditions during the comment period which closes on 23 December.