Why does this site exist?

In short, we are contractually required by Nominet UK to publish the information that you see—despite the fact that we do not offer any services to the public. Crazy, huh?

Who are Nominet UK?

Nominet UK is the (unelected) NIC to whom the (unelected) IANA has chosen to delegate operation of the registries for the .uk, .wales and .cymru TLDs in the Internet’s global DNS. Therefore anyone who wishes to register domains under those TLDs must abide by Nominet’s rules.

What is our relationship with them?

In order to manage certain .uk domains that are registered to us and our closely connected entities, many years ago we entered into a Registrar Agreement with Nominet UK under which we were assigned the Tag NICKETY.

On 18 March 2014 Nominet UK unilaterally updated that agreement and, ever since, has divided Tags into three types. Schedule 1 explains:

  1. From the date specified by us there will be three types of Tags:
    1. Self Managed;
    2. Channel Partner; and
    3. Accredited Channel Partner.
  2. The Self Managed Tag is intended for Registrants wishing to act as their own Registrar. The Channel Partner and Accredited Channel Partner Tags are designed for those Registrars wishing to provide services to third parties.

What type of Tag is NICKETY?

Given that we neither provide nor wish to provide services to third parties, but rather simply act as our own registrar in respect of domains that are registered for us (or our closely connected entities), it would appear that Self Managed should be the correct classification. Indeed, if Nominet UK were to accept that NICKETY is Self Managed then we would not be obliged to publish this website.

However, Schedule 1 goes on to explain:

  1. Domain names on a Self Managed Tag must usually be registered only in the name of the Registrar. You may specify a maximum of five Registrant names at any one time which will be regarded for the purposes of this paragraph as being Your name. These must be linked to you in some way, for example personal, trading or business names that you use or are closely connected with, and you must be able to provide evidence of this if we ask for it. We may permit a small number of domain names on a Self Managed Tag to be registered in the name of a third party but this shall be no more than the lower of: a) fifty or b) 5% of the total domains registered under your Self Managed Tag. Any changes to such limits on registrations will be Notified to you from time to time. If you register any domain names to a third party on a Self Managed Tag, you must ensure that you comply with the obligations set out for Channel Partner Tags, as set out below, in relation to those domain names.

Because we manage domain registrations for more than five of our closely connected entities, we are unable to meet these arbitrarily decided requirements. Therefore NICKETY must instead be classed as a Channel Partner, even though we do not offer domain registration services to third parties!

What is required of Channel Partners?

Schedule 1 goes on to explain:

  1. In addition to complying with the General Requirements, as a Channel Partner Tag holder, to be eligible for the Channel Partner Tag Classification, you must:
    1. maintain a website, accessible to the public, which provides contact postal address(es), email address(es) and telephone number(s) that Your Customers and members of the public can use to contact you;
    2. make public, prominently via your website, your customer service commitments and state how long your customers should expect to wait before receiving an acknowledgement of their communication and/or how long you usually take to resolve issues raised;
    3. acknowledge receipt of contacts from Your Customers (including complaints) within no more than 5 working days of receipt;
    4. publish on your website details of how a customer can make a complaint about the service they have received from you and provide those details if a customer asks for it. You must provide details of your processes for escalating complaints in your response to any complaint and should inform Your Customers (whether in writing or by some other means) of our process for dealing with the complaints of Registrants if Your Customers are unsatisfied with the outcome of their complaint to you;
    5. ensure that Your Customers are aware of:
      1. the charges associated with .uk domain name registration, renewal and maintenance;
      2. any changes to your ongoing charges or other charges that will affect Your Customer;
      3. how long you will take to carry out the services; and
      4. the Key Terms of your contract with them;
    6. make clear to customers your policy on renewal and expiry of domain names, which must be compliant with this Contract, including the basis on which you charge for renewal of a .uk domain name; and
    7. publish on your website an email contact point for abuse complaints, which must be an email address which corresponds with a inbox that you check at reasonable intervals.

We are therefore contractually bound to provide the information shown. The world is a crazy, crazy place.