Reply to post: What about Nominet?

Let’s check in on the .org sale fiasco: Senators say No, internet grandees say Yes – and ICANN pretends there's absolutely nothing to see here

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

What about Nominet?

Isn't it time UK government took an interest in this natural monopoly that was handed to Nominet (under what terms?) and now seems to be a law unto itself.

I've seen the price of .uk names increase from (IIRC) zero in 1995 when it was handled by a naming committee and you had to adhere to their very strict criteria (e.g. one name per business and it must exactly match the business name) With the inception of Nominet in 1996 I believe I paid £100 - or was it £200 to buy a name outright (again IIRC, I hope someone can confirm or correct my memory). Later it changed to a small annual fee.

Several years later Nominet got in touch to say they had no record of my ownership of the domain I'd been using for several years as I'd not been paying the annual fee and unless I could prove ownership it would revert to them (it's a valuable name). Since then they increased the wholesale fee by 50% (in 2016?), the retail fee is usually about double the wholesale fee so the retailers are happy. Then they released the .uk variant name as an alternative to but without the need for the second level domain name element .co

The effect of that was that every business with a name needed to buy the variant or risk some scammer getting it and using it for some dodgy purpose, leeching on the long established authority of the name. Of course Nominet offer their dispute resolution service in such situations - for £££

In effect Nominet doubled the cost of most uk names - and their income.

So what are UK businesses getting in return for this cash? Well basically Nominet run a database, rather badly, with a very large number of well paid staff and extremely well paid executives. It's a not for profit company - that sounds like a good thing but it just means profits are not distributed to shareholders, instead the staff and executives get looked after rather well... There was a Nominet charitable foundation but that got dropped, surely better to increase the executive's pay.

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