A couple months ago, we published a post about the release of those second level .uk domains that were not secured by the registrant of the corresponding third-level name(s).   Not too much detail was available on the release process at that time, but Nominet has now pubished a comprehensive document on the subject.

The document can be found here in its entirety, but it’s a bit dense so we’ll do our best to summarize, starting with the timeline:

  1. June 25:  Priority rights period concludes
  2. June 26:  Registrars gain access to list of domains w/ release date*
  3. July 1:  Release of domains starting with 0-9 and a-b
  4. July 2:  Release of domains starting with c-f
  5. July 3:  Release of domains starting with g-m 
  6. July 4:  Release of domains starting with n-s
  7. July 5:  Release of domains starting with t-z
  8. July 8:  Domains not registered during release period begin to enter GA

* Unfortunately, Toweb is barred from publishing the release list

One source of confusion regarding the schedule above is why there is a distinction between the release occuring between July 1-5 and the domains’ passing to a General Availability phase beginning on July 8.  This owes to the fact that the released domains aren’t simply made available via normal registration mechanisms.  Nominet has instead established a separate order provisioning channel:

— Registrars interested in participating in the release period had to sign up between April 8 and May 3.

— Participating registrars were given access to a separate EPP connection with corresponding test environment.

— Create requests will be throttled, with the quota being defined by the amount of credit in the registrar’s Nominet account.  This aspect has generated anger amongst smaller registrars, a story detailed here in Domain Incite.

At this time, Toweb can confirm only its participation in the July 1-5 release.  Pricing and the availability of a pre-ordering mechanism remain TBA.

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