US domain name registrar register.com has slashed the price of registering a '.co.uk' or '.org.uk' extension to £49 in a bid to attract companies and individuals who want to build a presence on the Internet.
As a result, register.com has become one of the most competitive services offering domain registration to the UK market, despite its North American base.
The £49 is for a period of two years and covers the NIC fee, confirmed a company spokesperson. The fee was previously £79.
The cut comes after Nominet, the company that provides UK domain names for other registrars like register.com, has confirmed that it will cut its registration charge for members to £5 in the September.
"We have seen a real spike on the site since we announced the price cuts and we are expecting an even bigger response as the news travels,” the spokesperson told VNU Newswire.
"Western Europe is one of the fastest growing ecommerce markets in the world, but currently companies and individuals can pay between £80 and £200 to register a .co.uk or .org.uk domain name - almost twice as expensive as registering .com, .net and .org domains," said register.com chief executive Richard Forman.
"In the near future, every company and most individuals will need at least one domain name," said Forman. "Since your domain name essentially becomes your identity on the Internet, it's important to register the right one - and for just £49, there's really nothing to stop our customers, from anywhere in the world, registering a .uk domain name."
Other domain name registars maintain that register.com’s decision to cut prices will not affect their business. "It is a false economy," Ivan Pope founder of Net Names told VNU Newswire. "The headline numbers are undeniably lower, but quickly find that people don’t just want to register an address, they want to talk, get input and get support."
“It really is a case of horses for courses,” added Pope. "Net Names offers a premium value added service which people are prepared to pay extra for." Pope confirmed, however, that Net Names is rolling the NIC fee into its standard charge, so prices will be £20 cheaper. He denied, however, that it was a reaction to register.com’s price changes.
Register.com, one of five companies worldwide to receive official accreditation by ICANN, has registered over 10,000 '.co.uk' and '.org.uk' domain names since June 1998.
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