Nominet suspends more than 3,000 domains
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A group of domain industry stakeholders operating under the name EGM has expressed concerns about Nominet’s decision to increase the price of registering a .uk domain.
Andrew Bennett, founder of EGM, told TBO that its opposition to the price increase has “wide” support across the “domain community”, including a number of registrars.
Last week, Nominet announced it was increasing the wholesale price of a .uk, .co.uk, .org.uk and .me.uk from £2.50 ($3.76) to £3.75. In addition, the registry confirmed it will review the price of registering the strings every year.
The new price is due to take effect on March 1, 2016.
So far, at the time of writing, an EGM petition against the price increase has attracted more than 100 signatures and a separate EGM petition calling on Nominet to hold a three-month consultation on the price increase has attracted 98 names.
The price of a .uk domain has not changed since 1999.
But Bennett said that the review into the pricing strategy means Nominet is acting more like a business.
“Nominet has made it clear it will now review pricing on an annual basis—this is of concern to everyone who signed the petition. In our view a not-for-profit public benefit private company (with no shareholders) should not be increasing prices annually.”
Nominet has defended the price increase as a remedy to increasing administrative and promotional costs.
Russell Haworth, chief executive of Nominet, wrote in the registry’s member forum on November 27 that 95% of its revenue derives from the sale of .uk registrations, which he said have “slowed dramatically” in recent years.
“Registrants will only continue to rely on domains like .uk if they feel they can trust the namespace. Trust comes from having confidence in the quality, security and service that underpins an online presence. This is why we see future investment in infrastructure, marketing promotions and awareness building on the value of domains as key pillars of our strategy.”
On the decision to review prices annually, Haworth said its intention is not to have a “big change” every year and that the increase is in line with the rate of inflation over the 16-year period.
But Bennett said he is “not sympathetic” to Nominet’s argument that the price increase is necessary to cover administrative and promotional costs.
“With 10 million .uk domain names, the cost of running the registry of Nominet should be decreasing not increasing,” he said.
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