As you may be aware, anyone who owns a .co.uk domain that was registered before 28th October 2013 has had the matching .uk extension reserved for them for a period of 5 years – this 5 years has come around quickly and is nearly up!
This means if you haven’t yet registered your equivalent .uk domain, it will soon be available on the open market for anyone. For example – We own “lcn.co.uk” and also ‘lcn.uk”, all forwarding to our main domain “lcn.com”. If we hadn’t registered our .uk domain, it would soon be available on the open market, leaving our brand name vulnerable.
What we’ve done so far
Alongside Nominet, the governing body for UK domain names, we’ve encouraged our customers to protect their brand and businesses by registering their .uk domain names.
Back in 2017 we gave all customers the opportunity to register their matching .uk domain name for free. Then, again in December 2018 and March 2019, we notified customers that they could opt-in or out for free automatic registration for their .uk equivalent domains.
Why register your .uk domains?
First and foremost it helps protect against online fraudsters and scammers who may look to take advantage of your customers by masquerading as your business online.
Securing your .uk domain will also help secure your brand identity from cybersquatters who could attempt to register your matching .uk domain and try and sell it back to you for a vastly inflated price.
What happens next?
Providing that you registered your .co.uk domain before 28th October 2013, you have until the 25th of June 2019 to secure your matching .uk domain name.
Starting from 1st July 2019, any remaining .uk domains will be available to anyone on the open market to register as part of a phased process that looks like this:
- 1st July 2019
All .uk domains that weren’t secured by their rights holders will be published in a list by Nominet and released in batches. These will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note: Only a handful of registrar will be taking part in this release – however we will not be, as we’re happy that our customers have had every opportunity over the last few years to secure their matching domain if they wanted it.
- 12th July 2019
As of this date, any remaining .uk domain names will be available to register on general release, open to anyone. This means you’ll be able to register any leftover domains you have your eye on, here at LCN as usual.
You can find more information about this process on the Nominet website at: https://www.nominet.uk/reserved-uk-rights-faqs/
If you have any questions about the .uk domain name extension, or the release process, please get in touch and our support team will be happy to help.