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UK Web sites offered a little Colombian go-faster extension

Sounds like a silly idea, but it’s not to be snorted at carelessly

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UK companies in search of a new Web address are being given the opportunity to own a Colombian domain extension at half the price of a conventional .uk registration. Buckinghamshire-based Net Registrar UK.CO is offering the .uk.co extension -- instead of the more conventional .co.uk -- after signing a licensing agreement with the Colombian authority which owns the .co country extension. But the new scheme has been branded a muddle by one industry insider who questions the practicalities of such an initiative. "This is just going to confuse the issue," sad Ian Tester of Fletcher Research. "It's hard enough as it is to find some sites and this is just going to add to the mess," he said. With more than 230,000 .co.uk domain extensions already in circulation Net Registrar UK.CO believes its new system will help relieve some of the demand for Net names. And at just £45 plus VAT, the cost of registering a .uk.co domain is almost half the price of .uk. Despite the criticisms, Bob Fox of Net Registrar UK.CO believes the new domain extension will prove popular. According to his figures, every day some 6,000 users fail to find the Web site they are looking for because of confusion over whether a site ends with .co.uk or .uk.co. "Incorrect data entry for UK domain names on the Web is a far more widespread problem than most people realise," said Fox. ®

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