Nominet forgets what the first .uk domain name was

It was 25 years ago, but that's all we know


Twenty-five years ago somebody registered the first .uk domain name, and now Nominet, the .uk registry manager, wants to know what that domain was.

Speaking at the organisation's annual registrars' meeting at the Science Museum in London on Thursday, Nominet director of marketing Phil Kingsland appealed for information about the registrant's identity.

It's well-known that the first .com domain was symbolics.com, originally registered to a now-defunct Lisp computer maker in March 1985, but less information is available about the origins of .uk.

Nominet was not created until 1996, Kingsland explained, and by then there were already 26,000 .uk domains, so records prior to that date are incomplete.

The organisation has not carried out a great deal of research into the identity of the first .uk domain, Kingsland said, but wants to hear from anybody who knows what it was.

The .uk domain was created in 1985, not long after the domain name system itself was designed and just a few months after the first .com, .org and .net domains were registered.

It is partly due to the fact that it went live so early in the history of the DNS that the country was assigned .uk, rather than the .gb that it would have been given had it followed the same naming scheme as all the world's other country-code top-level domains.

Until the formation of Nominet, .uk domain registrations were handled by a Naming Committee using a manual process that quickly became unwieldy after the web took off.

Nominet officially celebrated the 25th birthday of .uk on 24 July, but is also planning further events later this month to mark the occasion.

Do any Reg readers know what the first .uk domain was? Answers on a stone tablet please, just to be on the safe side. ®

Similar topics

Broader topics

Narrower topics


Other stories you might like

  • US, UK, Western Europe fail to hit top 50 cheapest broadband list
    Syria, Sudan, Belarus, Ukraine came top. Are you starting to see a pattern?

    In an analysis of 3,356 fixed-line broadband deals in 220 countries, price comparison website Cable.co.uk found that the UK has the 92nd cheapest internet, beating the US, which came in 134th place.

    Based on 41 packages, the average cost per month for broadband in Britain came in at $39.01. Stateside, this rose to $55, from 34 packages measured.

    For these bulwarks of western democracy, 92nd and 134th place isn't particularly impressive. But if you really want to shave the dollars off your internet bill, you have a number of options.

    Continue reading
  • Nominet suspends 'single digit' number of Russian dot-UK domain registrars
    Does not wish to 'profit' from 'commercial arrangements' in Russia

    Nominet, the dot-UK domain registry, has announced that it will suspend services for Russian web domain registrars – and the British government says it "welcomes" the action.

    Suspension will prevent the registrars from managing or renewing dot-UK domains they own or control.

    "We are not accepting registrations from registrars in Russia – we are suspending the relevant tags. To avoid compromising outlets for expression outside the control of the regime, the very small number of domains with Russian address details will continue to operate as normal," said the organisation in a statement on its website.

    Continue reading
  • The right to repairable broadband befits a supposedly critical utility
    A bolt of lightning has caused me days of misery, because the fix requires too much proprietary tech

    Column I heard an electric discharge, a bit like a Jacob's ladder, immediately before a deafening crack of thunder. I'd never been so close to a lightning strike! All of the lights in the house went bright, then dimmed, then went back to normal. "Uh-oh," I thought, "I'm in trouble now." Everything in the house had been hit by a nasty surge and the oft-spoken aphorism that broadband services are now a utility to rank with water and electricity was suddenly very, very, real to me.

    But it was electricity I worried about first. I use top of the line surge protectors so my most sensitive devices – computers and monitors, of which I have many – all seemed fine. But I'd overlooked two other connections that come into nearly every home: the antenna and the phone line.

    My television seemed to have taken a direct hit. It still worked – mostly – but appeared unable to receive any digital broadcasts. That circuit, lying on the other side of the antenna lead, likely took a big hit from the lightning strike. But the rest of the television seemed fine – at first. After a few days, and several spontaneous reboots, I began to intuit that devices don't always immediately fail when hit by lightning. Sometimes they gradually shed their functions and utility.

    Continue reading
  • Telecoms growth forecast for 2022 may be optimistic
    Analyst view: 4Q21 drop plus strains from war mean component shortages drag on

    The telecoms kit market had a good 2021 with revenues close to $100bn, up more than 20 percent since 2017, but growth is now slowing, according to analyst Dell'Oro Group. Huawei is also starting to feel the effect of sanctions, but still leads the global market by a fair margin.

    However, the Dell'Oro Group's prediction of slightly less growth for 2022 may turn out to be optimistic amid warnings that the Ukraine war is already having an impact on the fragile supply chain recovery.

    Dell'Oro's analysis is based on the telecoms market sectors it monitors, including Broadband Access, Microwave & Optical Transport, Mobile Core Network (MCN), Radio Access Network (RAN), and Service Provider Router & Switch.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022