Q&A: Simon McCalla, IT director, Nominet

We speak to the IT director of the .uk domain registry to find out how our regional domain is doing.

Tell us more about what Nominet does.

Nominet [is] the domain name registry for .uk. That means that we both manage the database of the eight million plus UK domains that are on the UK internet as well as the DNS infrastructure that supports it.

In a nutshell, we [make sure] when you type in an address to your browser that points to a .uk website that you get there. That's our fundamental job at Nominet.

We make sure that we give the safety and the service that people expect from the UK internet and keeping it as a trusted space which is absolutely vital and key to us.

So how is the .uk domain doing?

It's thriving and we are seeing good growth. We have just recently turned our eighth millionth domain for .uk, which we are obviously thrilled about [and] we also had a recent report that said there has been a significant increase in trust in '.co.uk'.

I think we have seen around 77 per cent of people surveyed [saying] they would trust the .co.uk name over .com and with .com being one of the original domains on the internet and very much a trusted domain space, for people to say that is really important.

We see the UK internet being a trusted space to do business and to manage your social presence as being absolutely key and it is very much thriving.

How does the UK compare to the rest of Europe?

It is doing well [but] I think everybody is seeing growth at the moment.

Obviously [compared to] .com, which [has] 80 million domains, we have a long way to go but the whole domain market is thriving.

We are currently alternating between the fourth and fifth largest country code top level domain in the world which is great. That gives us great standing in the internet world in general, certainly with ICANN and a number of the key technical committees which we try and influence and the policy committees.

So we are doing well alongside everyone else [as] it is a growth area for everybody.

So why when the internet is so global do people enjoy having the localised domain?

I think it is mainly because people are seeing perhaps less trust worthy domains [emerge]. They have become very aware of spamming, I don't think there is anyone in this country that isn't aware of spam email, and they have become very aware of phishing.

People have [also] become aware that typically it is much harder to do that from within a co.uk environment than it is to do it from other domains, so have become to a certain extent less trustworthy of some of the more international domains or more generic domains.

On top of that I think we have done a lot of good work both through Nominet, the ISPs and registries to increase trust so I think it is a two factor thing.

If the goal is to become trusted, what are the barriers stopping that trust right now?

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