Jisc manages the registration and administration of names in the ac.uk domain. It has been 16 years since the policy for domain name eligibility was last updated - which is why we decided to hold a consultation into whether it reflected evolving market conditions.
Thank you to the 225 people who took the time to take part in our consultation into the change of eligibility criteria for an ac.uk domain.
Your responses were very helpful in giving a clear sense of overall support for our approach, while also identifying a number of areas where we needed to draft more carefully or think harder.
The consultation has now ended and the main findings are outlined below:
- Over two-thirds of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the proposed eligibility criteria
- 80% agreed or strongly agreed with the new statement of purpose
- An overwhelming majority of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that ‘grandfather rights’ (the ability to use ac.uk in perpetuity) should not be granted to new applicants
- On the proposal to remove those that already held ac.uk from the domain should they no longer qualify under the new criteria, a majority (53%) were in favour while one quarter of respondents disagreed or strongly disagreed with the proposal
We found that a large number of those who disagreed with the proposal to remove organisations that no longer qualified, mistakenly thought that they would also be excluded. We have clarified this (particularly in relation to learned societies1 and bodies that act for or support tertiary providers), in our new eligibility policy.
Key steps taken as a result of the consultation
We reconsidered including a criteria for private further education (FE) providers similar to what we offer for alternative higher education (HE) providers, but could find no process equivalent. In its absence, eligibility for an ac.uk domain will continue to be restricted to FE providers incorporated under the 1992 Further and Higher Education Act.
We have revised the criteria in respect of learned societies in ways that we trust address the concerns raised.
The statement of purpose has been clarified to ensure that professional bodies serving/supporting HE/FE are eligible to apply for an ac.uk domain.
We have confirmed the position that the right to keep a particular domain name (or to be eligible to register names in the ac.uk domain) is not perpetual and will be granted only for the term of the agreement which is two years (as domain names are renewed every two years).
We accepted those consultation responses that said that, for those domain holders who find themselves no longer qualifying, a three month term for migration to a new domain was impractical. For those domain holders who find themselves no longer qualifying for the domain, we will normally allow up to 12 months to migrate to a new domain but with scope to reduce this time in cases of serious risk to the reputation of the domain or, highly exceptionally, to extend it where a compelling case has been made.
We confirmed the position that we will not renew those organisations that already hold ac.uk from the domain should they no longer qualify under the new criteria. This is likely to affect very few organisations.
The new policy
The revised policy has now been approved by the Jisc board.
This means that, from September 2014, there is a new policy with new eligibility criteria for registering for an ac.uk domain.
What does this mean for those already holding an ac.uk domain name?
Your old terms and conditions will be valid until the point your domain name(s) is/are up for renewal.
Prior to your renewal date, we will write to you with the new terms and conditions based on the new policy. For those renewers who meet the new terms and conditions, renewal will be straightforward, subject, if relevant, to payment of the appropriate charge.
If you do not meet the new criteria, and therefore cannot conform to the new terms and conditions, we will be unable to renew your ac.uk registration. There is a process in place for appeals but should this be unsuccessful, you will be expected to migrate to a new domain as soon as possible and normally within 12 months.
Find out more
If you would like to speak to a member of the team about the new policy, please call 0300 300 2212 or email email@example.com.
Thank you again for taking part in the consultation.
- 1 Organisations with the status of a Learned Society in the UK (including Royal Colleges) that exist to promote an academic discipline or group of disciplines and whose activities typically include holding regular conferences for the presentation and discussion of new research results, publishing or sponsoring academic journals in their discipline, and also in some cases acting as a professional body, regulating the activities of their members in the public interest or the collective interest of the membership.