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Nominet Propose .UK Internet Domain

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Your well-worn 'C' and 'O' keys might be about to get a bit of respite.

A new domain name has been proposed that would see '.uk' addresses offered to businesses alongside the existing '.co.uk' address.

The change has been proposed by Nominet, the UK's non-profit body overseeing web domains.

Nominet said that customers are already requesting the domains, under the assumption that they exist. They want the new domain to be included when Icann ('Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers') add several other top-level domains, including many claimed by brands and Internet companies.

They also argue the new services would have enhanced security features, as well as giving consumers confidence that businesses with .uk addresses were located in the UK.

"With the UK internet economy estimated to be worth £12bn and increasing, the matters of security, ease of use, and choice are becoming ever more important," said Lesley Cowley, CEO of Nominet, in a statment.

"This new secure domain space would boost the growth of the UK internet economy. 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."

Many other countries have domains without the '.co.' element.

The proposal will last three months, and Nominet are responses online.

It is thought domains would cost about £20 a year, more expensive than existing domains, and that they would operate in parallel (not instead of) '.co.uk' addresses.

Nominet told the BBC the plan was "not a money making exercise" and added some addresses such as '.sch.uk' (schools) and '.org.uk' were already available.