.uk Rights of Registration

.uk

The end of the .uk Right of Registration period is fast approaching and we want to make sure everyone is prepared and understands the release process.

Access to view the remaining .uk rights available

In preparation for the end of the .uk Right of Registration period on the 25th June 2019 at 06:00 BST (UTC+1), a list of .uk rights that have not yet been registered is now available for registrars to view.

This list will be updated on a weekly basis so that registrars have a view of the unregistered .uk domains with rights ahead of the release of remaining rights which will begin on the 1st July 2019. Between now and the 25th June 2019 domains may lose their right or be registered and therefore they will no longer be in the list.

To access the list, log into ‘Online Services’, click on ‘Right of Registration’ at the bottom of the UK registrar page and follow the instructions.

Participation in the release process

Domain names which have not been registered by 25th June 2019 at 06:00 BST (UTC+1) will be subject to a specific release process that will take place between 1st July and 5th July 2019. Only registrars that have signed up to participate will be able to connect to the release system via a dedicated EPP connection. The sign up for participation has now closed and any registrar that has not signed up will not be able to participate in the release.

Where a domain name is not registered through the release system it will be available to register through the standard registration system seven days later.

FAQs

What is the ‘release’ process? 

It is the release of .uk domains where rights were not exercised by the deadline date and the domain can now be registered by someone other than the rights holder. 

When will it take place? 

The rights period ends on 25th June 2019 at 06:00 BST (UTC+1). The domains will be available to register from 1st July 2019. 

How can I participate? 

Registrars were given the opportunity to sign up to take part from 8th April to 3rd May 2019. 

What is the mechanism for the rights release? 

Registration of released domains during the release period (1st – 5th July) must be made through a separate Right of Registration EPP connection. Those registrars who have signed up to the release will be able to use the Right of Registration EPP connection to register the .uk domains. 

EPP is instant and responses are received in near real time. As such we have chosen to provide an EPP mechanism that supports domains to be released in a manner that protects systems and ensures continuity of service for normal domain name operations.  We are providing advanced notice of the release mechanism so registrars who only use Web Domain Manager have the opportunity to arrange to use EPP. Our customer service team is available to answer any questions that may arise throughout the process. 

In what order will the domains be released? 

All domains with rights that were not registered by the rights holder will be put into five batches in alphabetical order. These batches will be published in advance. Each batch will be released at 14:00 BST (UTC+1) from 1st July to 5th July 2019.  All domains in a batch will become available at the same time (14.00 BST UTC+1). 

The release date and time for each domain name with expired rights will be added to the file published in Online Services from 14th May. To access the list, log onto ‘Online Services’, click on ‘Right of Registration’ at the bottom of the page and follow the instructions. 

The release schedule is as follows: 

Batch 1: Domains beginning 0-9, a-b 

Batch 2: Domains beginning c-f  

Batch 3: Domains beginning g-m 

Batch 4: Domains beginning n-s  

Batch 5: Domains beginning t-z  

Will there be any limitations placed on registrations during the release? 

The number of domain create attempts per rolling 60 seconds for each account will be limited (the limit for an account is shared between all tags on that account). We have provided provisional limits to all registrars who have signed up. Final confirmation of the limits for each account will be made during the week commencing 24th June subject to sufficient credit being available. Please add sufficient funds to cover expected registrations by midday on 21st June. If the additional funds are not used for registrations, or after some registrations have been made but excess funds remain on account, we will refund this money after invoices for the registered domains have been paid, if required.

How will access to the Right of Registration EPP system be restricted/controlled? 

Registrars will be able to make up to six connections to the Right of Registration EPP system in common with the main EPP system. We reserve the right to reduce this number as part of operational management during the release. 

The number of domain create requests will be restricted on a rolling minute by minute basis. Registrars will be allocated a number of domain create requests per rolling 60 seconds. If this number is exceeded, then further requests will be rejected until sufficient time passes to enable the quota to be replenished. 

For example, if the quota is 10 requests per rolling 60 seconds and requests are received as follows: 

  • 14:30:02 – 5 
  • 14:30:03 – 3 
  • 14:30:04 – 2 

Further create requests will be rejected until 14:31:02 when a further 5 requests will become available. 

Please note that all create requests are restricted whether they go on to be successful or not. For example, requests could fail if the domain requested hasn't been released yet or if it has been registered. 

The EPP acceptable use policy will be in force on the Right of Registration EPP system. The exception is that attempted registrations of domains on the release list which have already been registered, will be exempted from the Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). 

How will the system respond if I have exceeded my limit? 

Response throttled requests will receive: 

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="no"?> 
<epp xmlns="urn:ietf:params:xml:ns:epp-1.0" 
      xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" 
      xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.nominet.org.uk/epp/xml/epp-1.0 epp-1.0.xsd"> 
  <response> 
    <result code="2400"> 
      <msg> 
      Command failed: RoR request throttling: delay is 60s 
      </msg> 
    </result> 
    <trID> 
      <clTRID>ABC-12345</clTRID> 
      <svTRID>100984</svTRID> 
    </trID> 
    </response>
  </epp>

The "delay is xxs" indicates how long the user must wait before a registration request will be processed. Note we throttle processing of registration requests not the successful operation. 

Will the usual AUPs apply during the release period? 

For the standard .UK EPP the AUP is unchanged during the release period.  For the Right of Registration EPP connection, the attempted creates of domain names on the release list which are rejected because they have already been registered will not count towards the AUP limit on the use of create commands on already registered names.  All other EPP AUP limits remain in place during the release period (1st – 5th July) for any domains that appear on the release list.  

When will registrars be able to access the production environment for the release? 

There will be access to the production environment from 25th June. Error messages will be received until the batched releases start.  Access to the testbed will be removed shortly before the production environment becomes available. 

Which commands will be supported in the release EPP connection? 

All commands will be supported, but we recommend using standard .UK EPP for all commands other than creates on the domains being released. 

Will there be any changes to the DAC responses during the release? 

While there won’t be any changes to the DAC responses, registrars should interpret ‘T’ differently depending on the scenario. 

  • Registrar not taking part in the release or using non-RoR EPP: interpret ‘T’ as not available 
  • Registrar that is part of the release and using the RoR EPP: interpret ‘T’ as refer to pre-published lists to determine when a domain will become available 
  • For all registrars: Y flag indicates a name is registered therefore unavailable 

Will there be any changes to the WHOIS during the release? 

The response given by the website WHOIS will be modified as follows: 

PeriodQuery TypeWhois Response

Before “Rights are removed” 

Before 25.06.19 
Unregistered .uk domain with rights 

Domain name: 

    unregistered-with-rights.uk 

Right of registration: 

    unregistered-with-rights.co.uk 

WHOIS lookup made at 10:32:02 03-May-2019 

This is the current behaviour 
 Unregistered domain without rights 

No match for "unregistered-released.uk". 

This domain name has not been registered. 

WHOIS lookup made at 10:35:00 03-May-2019 

This is the current behaviour 

Between “Rights are removed” and “Rights release” 

25.06.19 - 01.07.19 
Unregistered .uk domain with rights 

"unregistered-with-rights.uk" has not been registered and will become available for registration as part of the rights of registration release process.  More information can be found on https://www.nominet.uk/LINKDETAILSHERE  

WHOIS lookup made at 10:32:02 03-May-2019   

During “Rights release” 

01.07.19 – 08.07.19 

Unregistered .uk domain that had rights, domain’s batch is not released 

"unregistered-with-rights.uk" has not been registered and will become available for registration as part of the rights of registration release process.  More information can be found on https://www.nominet.uk/LINKDETAILSHERE 

WHOIS lookup made at 10:32:02 03-May-2019 
 Unregistered .uk domain that had rights, domain’s batch is released 

unregistered-with-rights.uk" has not been registered and will become available for registration as part of the rights of registration release process.  More information can be found on https://www.nominet.uk/LINKDETAILSHERE 

WHOIS lookup made at 10:35:00 03-May-2019 

From “Rights become available on standard EPP” onwards 

08.07.19 onwards 

Unregistered .uk domain that previously had rights, is not yet available through non-RoR EPP but will be made available before 12.07.19 

"unregistered-with-rights.uk" has not been registered and will become available for registration as part of the rights of registration release process.  More information can be found on https://www.nominet.uk/LINKDETAILSHERE 

WHOIS lookup made at 10:35:00 03-May-2019 
 

Unregistered .uk domain that previously had rights and has been released to general registration. 

No match for "unregistered-released.uk". 

This domain name has not been registered. 

WHOIS lookup made at 10:35:00 03-May-2019 

The existing AUP for WHOIS will apply for the duration of the release period. 

After 25th June and before the domains with expired rights are released, what will a domain check command return? 

domain:check will show that domains are not available until the release time has passed, when they will show as available. 

Will a registrar be able to perform all commands on a domain registered in the Right of Registration EPP on the standard .UK EPP?   

Yes, because both systems use the same database. The only difference between the two systems is the release system allows registration of the released domains and restricts the number of registrations allowed. 

Will a Testbed be available? 

The Testbed will be available from 10th May and access will be removed shortly before the production environment becomes available on 25th June.  The Testbed will be updated so that it behaves as the release system (it will be possible to perform any type of EPP request, just as in the standard system will post 25th June). 

Domain names with expired rights will not be available for registration until their release time has passed. 

domain:check will show that domains are not available until the release time has passed, when they will show as available. 

The EPP rights check command to check if a contact has rights has been removed on the testbed to reflect what will happen in production on 25th June.  This command will be removed from the production environment on 25th June. 

Will there be test releases? 

We will run a test release each week on the Testbed. The release will follow the plan for the production release on 1st -5th July 2019. 

Release times are as follows (the test releases will run each week according to this schedule up to the time access to the Testbed is removed): 

TimeDomains to release
Monday, 14.00 BST (UTC + 1) Beginning 0,1,..9,a,b 
Tuesday, 14.00 BST (UTC + 1) Beginning c-f 
Wednesday, 14.00 BST (UTC + 1) Beginning g-m 
Thursday, 14.00 BST (UTC + 1) Beginning n-s 
Friday, 14.00 BST (UTC + 1) Beginning t-z 

Note that the domain names released on the Testbed may include domain names for which the right has been exercised in the production system. 

Do you have a mechanism in place that will enable registrars to synchronise time on their systems with Nominet systems? 

Our servers are time synchronised with NTP.  We use multiple satellite and terrestrial Stratum-1 timing sources to align multiple local distribution units with oven-controlled crystal oscillators to ensure an accurate and stable network time.  

When will the domains become available using the standard .UK EPP and WDM? 

Domains that are released in batch 1 (1st July) will become generally available through the standard .UK EPP connection one week later, i.e. on 8th July at or after 14.00 BST.  Batch 2 on 9th July, batch 3 on 10th July etc. 

Will Nominet run any awareness activity to registrants? 

We have planned a series of awareness activities on the lead up to 25th June targeting a broad business and consumer audience, influencers and selected vertical sectors. Our awareness campaign will include national press and radio, out of home, social media and PR.