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New UK web domain to affect country’s enterprises

Businesses in the UK will soon have the chance to shorten their website addresses, after plans to introduce a  new ‘.uk’ domain were unveiled.

The proposal will see site owners given the new option on top of the ‘.co.uk’ and ‘.org.uk’ endings they already have access to.

The organisation responsible for the idea, Nominet, initially put the idea on hold after deciding it would cause confusion. However, after re-working its plan and carrying out another consultation, the group said it was now ready to proceed.

It is thought the move will affect around 10 million internet users across the UK who are already using the existing UK options. Nominet’s equivalents in Germany and France have already put similar plans into action.

Lesley Cowley, chief executive at Nominet, said to the BBC that she expects users to adapt to the changes quickly, describing them as “pretty savvy”.

Some experts have said that businesses may look to adopt the new addresses in order to prevent rival companies hijacking their traffic.

Cowley attempted to play down suggestions that this could lead to firms having to spend more money.

She explained that domain registrars would be charged £3.50 for a 12-month contract and £2.50 for each year of a longer deal. It had initially been suggested that site owners would be hit with £20 fees for the addresses.

The company did point out, however, that in its latest consultation, it was found that business leaders were more concerned about being forced to pay for address rebranding too soon. To remedy this, Nominet extended the amount of time customers have before choosing whether or not they want to opt for one of the new shorter options. If they decide against it, the addresses will be passed over to other potential buyers.

Graeme has experience creating content for online sources and for the radio, and at university he studied Multimedia Journalism.

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