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.uk Domain Name Registry Turns 25

Published July 25, 2010

Yesterday marked 25 years since the first .uk domain names were registered.

Since 1985, the .uk registry has grown to become the fourth largest domain name registry in the world with 8.5 million domain names currently under administration.

Initially administered by a voluntary body called the "Naming Committee", all .uk domain name registrations originally had to match the name of the registering company exactly and all companies were limited to a single domain.

As the Internet gained popularity, the Committee became overwhelmed and unable to deal with the volume of .uk domain name registrations. In 1996, Nominet, a private non-profit membership company, was set up to manage the .uk domain name space. At that point in time, there were 26,000 domain names registered.

By February 2000, 1 million .uk names were registered and by May 2006, 5 million. The .uk register passed the seven million mark in 2008.

Nominet CEO Lesley Cowley said of the milestone, "We are delighted to celebrate 25 years of .uk. In that time, the Internet has changed the lives of billions of people around the world."

"Understanding this, Nominet, our registrars and the wider Internet community are all working to ensure that .uk continues to be developed efficiently, effectively and most of all, responsibly - with Internet users at the heart of everything we do."

Nominet now employs 119 staff and has an annual turnover of 20 million pounds

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