Jisc’s network Janet manages the ac.uk domain names. It has been 16 years since the policy for domain name eligibility was last updated.
Providers of tertiary education and research organisations that want the ac.uk suffix in their online address have had to meet two of the mandatory requirements and at least one of the eligibility requirements, and – because first impressions matter more than ever on the web - most have been keen to do that.
In late 2013, the Jisc board decided to take a fresh look at this policy, driven also by recognition of how much the UK’s higher education (HE) landscape has changed over the years and by our wish to make sure we continue to meet the needs of customers as they adapt to evolving market conditions.
In particular, the 2011 Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) White Paper Students at the Heart of the System opened up the HE market to alternative providers, of which there are now a large number.
Reviewing the process
We have set up a working group to review the processes that Janet currently applies to domain name allocation and the list of all those that currently have the right to use ac.uk. It is very likely that some of the learning providers, research organisations and research projects that make up this list no longer exist, or no longer require their domain name, so we are working to identify these and update our records accordingly.
We have also reviewed the existing processes and criteria for determining eligibility and managing the domain name. We now wish to consult widely to gather views on our proposals.
If you’d like to take part in the consultation, please visit our online questionnaire where you can read the proposal for the updated policy, compare it with the original one and give us your feedback. We would be very grateful for your views.