Nominet considers auctioning expiring .uk domain names

.Uk registry plans to bring more clarity to expired domain process and possibly auction domains.

Nominet, the registry for .uk domain names, is considering introducing an auction model for expiring domain names.

The registry asked for feedback last year about making the drop more transparent so that people would have a better understanding of how domains expire and how to register them. This would increase the likelihood that end users who weren’t domain-savvy would be able to procure the domains.

As a result of the consultation, Nominet has decided that it will make drop lists public. It now has two further questions it wants to resolve:

  1. If all domains should be released at the same time on the drop day or if they should be dropped at the exact timestamp they were originally registered.
  2. If it should auction off or otherwise change the way it releases highly-contested domains.

For the second issue, Nominet is considering auctioning off domains or introducing “Economically controlled access to expiring domains”. The latter would mean selling batches of EPP connections to acquire dropping domains, with expired domains available for a limited time exclusively to people who have bought the access.

The idea is similar to one Verisign is trying to patent, except that expired domains would only be available to the special access batches rather than all registration requests.

About 5% of .UK domains are registered the day they expire. Less than 1% are registered within a second of deletion.

More details and commenting is available here.

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