.UK modernisation, standardisation and legacy service retirement consultation

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Introduction

When Nominet was founded in 1996, it established the technical systems for the .UK platform which enable Registrars, and later Registrants, to administer .UK domains. The code base which supports the .UK registry platform is predominantly bespoke and has, like other registries, evolved over time.

In the meantime, Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP) has been introduced and Nominet has developed its own registry platform that uses standard EPP to support gTLD and ccTLD clients. This means we are now operating two different code bases, giving us and our customers the opportunity to identify what works well and what could be improved.

The .UK platform requires development and modernisation; this presents an opportunity to align with global domain industry standards where appropriate, improve the customer experience for Registrars and Registrants, improve security and deliver efficiencies. This will require us to retire some of the systems Registrars are familiar with, which we recognise will be a significant change.

During 2022, we shared our initial thinking with the .UK Registry Advisory Council (UKRAC) and Registrars in a product discussion paper and virtual roundtable. We refined the proposals and presented these at the Members’ Conference in March 2023. A summary of these discussions is available on Registrar Resources. We have taken the feedback gathered onboard and further refined our proposals, which are presented in this consultation.

We are asking for your views on our proposals to significantly overhaul the .UK registry platform. This consultation sets out the proposed changes, the rationale for the changes, and seeks feedback on the impact on Registrars and Registrants.

We acknowledge that the proposed changes are significant. If we proceed as outlined, all Registrars will be required to make some changes to the way they manage .UK domain names. We have developed these proposals to minimise the impact on Registrars who exclusively use Web Domain Manager, while enabling those utilising EPP to use standard EPP. We want to understand more about the impact this will have so we can identify ways to support our customers as we transition to new systems and new ways of working.

If the changes outlined go ahead, we will give considerable advance notice to Registrars to allow for necessary development activities. In this document, some changes have a proposed change date. Where dates are not provided, a full plan will be developed in collaboration with Registrars. We also want to understand whether there are other ways we can minimise the impact on Registrars. Your feedback is invited on how much notice is required, options for mitigating impact, as well as the details within the proposals. 

The consultation period is open until 26 April 2024. Alongside submitting a written response there are a variety of opportunities for stakeholders to find out more about the proposals.

Due to the level of detail in this consultation we do not recommend that you complete this using a mobile device. The consultation is also available in full so that you can review at the same time in a separate tab if that is helpful. If you have any questions or queries regarding this consultation please contact modernisation@nominet.uk.

The deadline for submitting responses is 17.30 UTC+1 on 26 April 2024. Once the consultation closes, we will publish a feedback summary on Registrar Resources. Direct quotes from responses may be reproduced in a summary, but will not be attributed to any person or organisation.  

For further information please visit Registrar Resources or Nominet.