New proposals have been put forward that could see UK-based firms offered shorter domain names in a bid to ramp-up security measures. The plans has been devised by Nominet, the UK-based domain name service. Under the terms of the scheme, businesses would be afforded the chance to register www.name.uk as their URL address. This, though, will run alongside the pre-existing address, which ends in .co.uk.

 

In order to apply for the scheme, businesses must do two things: that they have a presence of some description in the UK and pay a higher fee. Despite the proposed process being relatively straightforward, the likelihood is that a significant number of firms will oppose the move on account of the fact that acquiring new web addresses is expensive.

 

However, in an effort to ring-fence their own brand, some firms may feel that this is a necessary and, in some senses, an unavoidable step. While this is clearly an expensive process, a good many firms may conclude that such a move in unavoidable.

 

In an interview with the BBC, Eleanor Bradley, Nominet's director of operations, explained: "We have been asked over the many years we've been in operation as to whether or not we would allow these shorter domain names."

 

Further to this, Ms Bradley confirmed that the facility is set to be sold for around £20 per .uk address per year. By way of comparison, there is currently a £5 fee in place to run a .co.uk domain for a period of two years.

 

"We would do daily malware scanning of these domain names and associated sites and they would be DNSSEC-signed [Domain Name System Security Extensions] - that's a security protocol that adds a digital signature to a domain to minimise the risk of domain-hijacking, and it also ensures that when you are going to go to a domain you reach the one you wanted to reach," she commented.

 

"It would all be brought together with a Trust Mark so that consumers and people visiting these .uk domain names would get an immediate indication of the security and nature of the registration."

 

She insisted, though, that the move was not motivated by money. In fact, the intention is for any additional revenue to be reinvested into improve internet security.