Nominet (the .UK Registry) officially announced on Twitter, and shortly after on their site & via their mailing list that on 30th January that direct .UK registrations like danrodgers.uk will be made available on 10th June 2014.
Launch date for shorter, snappier .uk domains is 10th June 2014. Find out more about the new domains at http://t.co/0BiPV7lXx0
— Nominet (@Nominet) January 30, 2014
They also announced the new Registrar Agreement at the same time which I’ll go into details on another time.
With the announcement comes the much-anticipated website with more information for consumers on what the change means and how it will affect them – dotuklaunch.co.uk
The new website also highlights a new feature of their WHOIS database, it now returns results for .UK domains clearly showing who will get first right of refusal on the new 2nd Level .UK domains.
For example, if you take a look for “DanRodgers.uk” you’ll see that I’ll be able to get the first rights (which I will happily take up of course) to secure DanRodgers.UK thanks to my existing DanRodgers.co.uk registration – http://dotuklaunch.co.uk/whois/lookup?query=danrodgers
If you’re interested in getting your own .UK domain and you already own the .CO.UK version and in some cases the .ORG.UK you can check if you’re in line using the tool, if you own the domain which is listed as “Right of registration” then you’re in.
Can I get my desired .UK?
If you registered your domain before 23:59 on 28th October 2013 and there are no other registrations under .co.uk, .org.uk, .me.uk, .ltd.uk, .plc.uk or .net.uk for the same name, you should be able to get it.
If there are 2 or more registrations with the same name then the .CO.UK owner will be offered the .UK version. If the .CO.UK version wasn’t registered by the 28/10/13 then it will be offered to the .ORG.UK owner, then .ME.UK and so on.
.CO.UK domains registered between now and .UK launch will also be entitled to the .UK version so long as there aren’t any other matching .UK domains already.
If you’re entitled to the .UK when it launches, and want to make sure you stay up to date with the latest developments and secure your domain as soon as they hit the market you can register your interest on Tsohost (where I work as Domains Manager) here: https://www.tsohost.com/campaign/dotuk
I’m always happy to answer any questions, do feel free to drop me a message via the Contact page.