Nominet has opened a public consultation on its plans to modernize the .uk domain registry, which will involve increased standardization around international norms and turning off some older services.
It’s an extensive consultation — 37 proposals and 92 questions spread over more than 50 pages — aimed mainly at the registrars that will have to update their systems to integrate with the new registry. But registrants will also be affected.
The plans would see changes to Nominet’s underlying registry platform that would alter how renewals, proxy registrations, grace periods and transfers between registrants and registrars are handled, and the retirement of the current Whois system, among many other items.
Nominet reckons its proposals will help it save money on ongoing maintenance and software licensing as well as eventually simplifying things for its member registrars.
The company currently runs two registry platforms in parallel: the old UK registry and the newer EPP registry, which is based on the latest technical standards and compliant with ICANN requirements.
It runs its gTLDs, such as .wales and .cymru, as well as its dozens of back-end clients, on the newer system. The plan is to shift .uk over to the newer RSP platform too.
The proposal also calls for Nominet to align with ICANN’s plans to stop requiring registrars to operate Whois services a year from now, replacing them with the newer RDAP standard, which provides the same functionality.
Other older, less-used services, such as the Domain Availability Checker, would either be retired or replaced with EPP-based equivalents.
There’s a lot to absorb in the consultation documents, but at first glance it strikes me that large international registrars that already integrate with dozens of registries probably don’t have much to worry about; smaller, .uk-focused registrars with fewer resources may show some resistance due to the amount of development work likely to be required.
But Nominet says that it is taking this into account with its timetable, saying: “If the changes go ahead, we will give considerable advance notice to Registrars to allow time for development activities”.
The consultation is open for the next three months, punctuated by five explanatory webinars.
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