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:
- June 25: Priority rights period concludes
- June 26: Registrars gain access to list of domains w/ release date*
- July 1: Release of domains starting with 0-9 and a-b
- July 2: Release of domains starting with c-f
- July 3: Release of domains starting with g-m
- July 4: Release of domains starting with n-s
- July 5: Release of domains starting with t-z
- 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.