The UK's domain name registrar Nominet is proposing to introduce a simplified domain, which would allow firms to sign up for a .uk web address.
The new service, dubbed “direct.uk”, will target UK-based firms with the offer of shorter web addresses and improved security.
Key features include a check that the owner operates in the UK, daily malware monitoring and measures to prevent domain name hijacking.
The malware monitoring would help ensure UK websites do not unintentionally distribute viruses or spam, said Eleanor Bradley, director of operations at Nominet.
“This is about choice. If you're currently using a .co.uk address, there'd be no requirement to change,” she added.
Under Nominet's proposals, firms signing up for the .uk address would be given a trust mark to display on their site, intended to reassure visitors that the website is trustworthy.
“We are aware that it represents a significant change to the landscape of the .uk internet and we are committed to taking all points of view on board,” said Lesley Cowley, chief executive of Nominet.
“This new secure domain space would boost the growth of the UK internet economy.”
Nominet is currently seeking views on its proposals and the consultation closes on 7 January 2013.
Nominet is not the only organisation looking to offer firms more choice when it comes to web addresses.
Earlier this year, Icann began accepting applications from firms looking to host so-called generic top-level domains (gTLDs) such as .london or .cloud. That system also allows firms to apply to run brand name gTLDs.
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