Great Britain is one of the countries in the world most affected by domain speculation, especially when it comes to 1- and 2-letter domain names. Domain Ethics reveals that 9 short .UK domain speculators own 1831 out of 2094 short domains. Only 1 out of 1831 names is currently in use (eg. rt.co.uk). While some of the top 5 speculators claim that the highest paid principle would be the preferred way to go, it’s clear that average people in Great Britain would enjoy surfing on .UK sites if speculative interests didn’t affect the Internet to such an extent.
Major brands do use their short domains, especially with redirects to the established website. We noticed that over 90 % of all recognizable brands either created a website or set-up a redirect, while the lazy speculators either don’t do anything at all (not resolving domains) or simply change nameservers, making it into a parked domain, often filled with ads. 52.5 % of all 1- and 2-letter .UK domains are parked while over 39 % are dead sites (not resolving).
We only found 9 lazy brands that didn’t bother to do anything with their names for over 2 years, indicating they don’t even need the names. In either case, they can always develop their current short domains one day. Luckily for them, nobody is going to take them away. We’re talking about fa.co.uk (The FA), fb.co.uk (Facebook), hm.co.uk (H&M), m.co.uk (Merck) and ta.co.uk (Tripadvisor) to name a few. Well, if they already own .com, perhaps they don’t need .UK?
My suggested way forward for to 1- and 2-letter domains is to use the greatest happiness principle or felicific calculus which calculations are based upon. Since over 60 million people are directly affected, we cannot only consider a few domain speculators OR domain owners. This is something bigger than that. We need to consider the society and every Brit surfing around Internet. Would we like them to end up on parked domains and dead domain names?
Learn more about ethically justifiable short domain principles, see more statistics and discover how we can allocate short .UK domains in the fairest possible way for the greatest number of people.