Twenty-five years ago somebody registered the first .uk domain name, and now Nominet, the .uk registry manager, wants to know what that domain was.
Speaking at the organisation’s annual registrars’ meeting at the Science Museum in London on Thursday, Nominet director of marketing Phil Kingsland appealed for information about the registrant’s identity.
It’s well-known that the first .com domain was symbolics.com, originally registered to a now-defunct Lisp computer maker in March 1985, but less information is available about the origins of .uk.
Nominet was not created until 1996, Kingsland explained, and by then there were already 26,000 .uk domains, so records prior to that date are incomplete.
The organisation has not carried out a great deal of research into the identity of the first .uk domain, Kingsland said, but wants to hear from anybody who knows what it was.
The .uk domain was created in 1985, not long after the domain name system itself was designed and just a few months after the first .com, .org and .net domains were registered.
It is partly due to the fact that it went live so early in the history of the DNS that the country was assigned .uk, rather than the .gb that it would have been given had it followed the same naming scheme as all the world’s other country-code top-level domains.
Until the formation of Nominet, .uk domain registrations were handled by a Naming Committee using a manual process that quickly became unwieldy after the web took off.