Following the launch of second level .uk registrations where existing third level registrants had 5 years to claim their corresponding .uk domain name, over 1.8 million out of over 10 million failed to claim their domain name. The unclaimed domain names are being released on a first come, first served basis in daily batches. In the first week’s batches, 41,459 domain names were claimed and registered.
In the first week’s releases, the most sought after domain name was z.uk, followed by law.uk and k.uk. According to Nominet 80 registrars were trying to register z.uk on Friday at 14:00. The top 10 list of most sought after domains consisted of shorter domains and dictionary words, plus Manchester.uk.
The current releases have come about following Nominet opening up the second level of .uk in June 2014, supplementing the existing third level domains (co.uk, org.uk, me.uk etc.) with .uk. Nominet reserved the rights to certain .uk domain names for a period of 5 years for those existing registrants. When this came to an end, the unregistered .uk domain names are being released on a first come, first served basis, in daily batches. To cope with the unprecedented demand, a parallel registration system was developed.