Shorter .UK domains will be available starting on June 10, 2014, according to Nominet, the registry that oversees .UK and .CO.UK domains.
Nominet has also updated its WHOIS tool so customers “can find out about right of registration for the new .UK domains.”
Existing .uk customers will be offered the shorter equivalent of their current address, and have five years to decide whether they want to use it in addition to or instead of their existing domains.
“By introducing .uk as a stand-alone domain we are simply providing another option for people to build their online success story with us,” Nominet said. “81% of people prefer .uk domains when searching or buying online.”
While .UK is expected to be the most popular domain offered by Nominet, it will continue to offer .CO.UK, .ORG.UK, and .ME.UK to individuals, businesses and non-profits in the UK.
Nominet approved plans to offer .UK domains starting in summer 2014 last year, despite receiving negative feedback from stakeholders that considered the release of shorter .UK domains to be confusing to existing registrants and a money grab for Nominet.
Last week, Donuts launched the general availability for seven new gTLDs, the first wave of hundreds new gTLDs to be launched this year.