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Thursday, 29 November, 2001, 11:23 GMT
Putting the people online
A list of the .uk domains
The range of .uk domains is gradually being expanded
The UK's net domains are getting personal.

Nominet, the organisation that manages the .uk domain, is considering adding a .me.uk category of names for personal websites.

Although there are already 11 open-to-purchase extensions to the .uk domain, all are for organisations rather than for individuals.

If approved, the new domains could go on sale in early 2002.

Me and mine

Currently, organisations are well served by the .uk domain, which has extensions for everything from police forces to limited companies.

This set of domains has proved popular, and now there are over three million .uk domains registered.

Current open .uk domains
.co.uk - commercial enterprises
.org.uk - non - profit groups
.plc.uk - registered company names
.ltd.uk - registered company names
.net.uk - net service providers
.sch.uk - schools
.ac.uk - academic establishments
.gov.uk - government bodies
.nhs.uk - health organisations
.police.uk - police forces
.mod.uk - Ministry of Defence

In an attempt to serve individuals who do not fit into one of the existing categories, Nominet is considering adding the .me.uk category for personal websites and families.

The proposal for .me.uk has been approved by the legal and policy boards that decide Nominet strategy. Soon the proposal will be voted on by the registry's member organisations. If approved the .me.uk names should be live early next year.

Anyone buying one of the new domains would get a web address of the form: www. firstnamelastname.me.uk.

Domain competition

But Nominet's plans for .me.uk could face competition from the .name domain which is also due to go live in mid-January next year.

The Global Name Registry, which was granted approval to run .name by net ruling body Icann, is currently running the "sunrise" period for its domain.

This period is for trademark owners and those that want to stop domains bearing brand names they own being snapped up by speculators.

At the same time Global Name Registry is running a "landrush" period for those that want to register interest in a domain for their family name. Both these closed periods end on 17 December.

However, before the switch on date of 15 January, some controversy over the .name domain remains to be resolved.

Some observers have criticised Icann for the way Global Name Registry has been allowed to keep control of e-mail addresses associated with .name domains.

See also:

19 Sep 00 | Sci/Tech
Money for nothing
19 Jun 01 | Sci/Tech
Novel net domains court controversy
10 Apr 01 | Sci/Tech
Net name chaos grows
07 Nov 01 | Sci/Tech
New domains taking hold
12 Oct 01 | Sci/Tech
New net domain 'fiasco'
09 Oct 01 | Business
Nasdaq evicts 'cybersquatter'
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