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Who Are Nominet

Nominet is the domain name registry organization for the United Kingdom. Its extension is generally displayed as .uk, although Nominet owns a variety of other extensions. This article discusses the organization of Nominet, where it came from, how it operates, and what it encompasses.

Dr. Willie Black and five other individuals founded Nominet on May 14th, 1996. Its predecessor, which was called the Naming Committee, had proven itself incapable of handling the enormous registration volumes which were being filed via the .uk domain. Among the greatest challenges facing Nominet in the early days, and still continuing to a lesser degree today, involved the difficult task of moving over all of the pre-existing domains under the umbrella of the new company. Although the holders of pre-existing domain names were cordially invited to consent to Nominet’s new conditions and terms, a number of domain owners complained about having to begin paying for domain names which had until that point proven to be totally free. This became more difficult since a great number of the pre-Nominet domain ownerships were not properly updated with sufficient contact data, making it difficult to effectively figure out who owned what domain name. To this day, Nominet is still engaged in a significant internal project, known as the PreNom project, trying to finish clearing up the still existing pre-Nominet domain names, with an end goal of having all domain names under the umbrella of the Nominet brand, conditions, and terms. Nominet has also wrestled with difficult issues, such as safeguarding the legal positions of brand owners, as well as intellectual property, along with the information that it holds.

The structure of Nominet is a not for profit company whose members function much like stock holders, yet do not have the ability to share in any profits realized by the firm. Although any person may choose to register as a member, the majority of members prove to be registrars who are also Internet service providers. Nominet has the distinction of being among the earliest professional operators of cc Top Level Down registries, making it the role model for a large number of operators around the globe.

Nominet is different from other Top Level Down registry organizations in various other countries. Those individual or internet service provider clients who want to register a specific domain name do not go to Nominet directly. They must register their domain name choice with a registrar company. These registrars are approved by Nominet to update, as well as to register, domain names for customers.

Nominet is also significant not only for being one of the original Top Level down registry organizations, but also for being among the largest in the world. With more than seven million .uk domain names, Nominet proves to be the fourth biggest such organization on earth. Besides maintaining the records on all of these domain names and collecting a fee for permitting the rights to them, Nominet further handles registration disputes pertaining to .uk domain name extensions. This is accomplished by its DRS, or Dispute Resolution Service. They offer a completely free service of mediation between disputing parties.

Besides the .uk domain name extension that are Nominet’s principal charge, it also manages a variety of second level domains. These include the following extensions for domain names:

.co.uk
.net.uk
.org.uk
.plc.uk
.ltd.uk
.sch.uk
.me.uk

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