Britons get .me.uk domain

The second-level domain opened for registrations at one minute past midnight on Monday morning

The .me.uk second-level domain (SLD) opened for registrations on Monday morning, following a strong vote of approval by the UK's national registry Nominet on Friday night.

It is the first new SLD to be introduced since Nominet started operating the .uk registry in 1996. In a vote on 11 January, 75 percent of the 598 registry members voted in favour of launching the domain name, designed to put more of a personal spin on UK Web addresses.

The personal domain went live at one minute past midnight on 14 January. It is reserved for the names of individuals who have some connection to the UK, and is intended to work in the same way that .co.uk does for British businesses. Its arrival coincides with the launch of other new top-level domains (TLDs), including .biz.

"To date there has been no SLD within the .uk registry which specifically serves the interests of individuals, so this marks an important step forward in the way people express themselves on the Web," said Dr Willie Black, managing director of Nominet UK.

Registrations for the new domain names will be awarded on a first come, first served basis. In order to discourage cybersquatters from speculative registrations, the registration fee for Nominet members will start at £50 plus VAT. This figure will gradually reduce to the standard fee of £5 over the next six months. Members of the public are likely to be charged around £100 by their Internet Service Provider (ISP) for their "name.me.uk" Web address. Such charges generally include the cost of hosting the domain name.

All disputes that arise from .me.uk registrations will be dealt with by Nominet's existing dispute resolution procedure.

For everything Internet-related, from the latest legal and policy-related news, to domain name updates, see ZDNet UK's Internet News Section.

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