- Individuals looking for an online identity now have their own space in the UK domain: me.uk opened for registration on Monday.
An overwhelming majority of the members of the UK's national registry Nominet, mostly internet service providers, voted for the creation of the new name. No other second-level domain (SLD) has been added to the UK domain name space since Nominet was founded in 1996, the organisation said in a statement.
"By lunchtime on Monday we had 1300 me.uk registrations," says a Nominet spokeswoman. "If you compare that to the number of co.uk names registered, this is quite high and demonstrates the interest in this new SLD." The first me.uk name registered was lucas.me.uk.
Before now, internet addresses ending in .uk were largely used by businesses; co.uk is the most popular SLD in the UK. Other SLDs in use include gov.uk (government), ac.uk (academic establishments) and org.uk (nonprofit organisations).
Me.uk domains are registered on a first come, first served basis. The registration fee starts at £50 plus tax, but will gradually be lowered over the coming six months to £5. The initial high price is intended to discourage cybersquatters from registering domain names in bulk, Nominet says.
It is too early to tell whether the high-price tactic is working, but some generic names are being registered, says the Nominet spokeswoman.
"We have no strong evidence of cybersquatters, but quite a few of the generic names have been registered, things like text.me.uk. However, at the moment it is a good mix of people's names and generic names," she says.
The me.uk domains are not meant for commercial use, but an owner could use the domain as a front for commercial services as Nominet has no power over what the domain is used for, the spokeswoman says.