Costed and Explained
To support Nominet’s failed commercialisation programme, domain prices rose by £1.40 a year between 2016 and 2020. That’s a huge 56% rise.
Members rejected the commercialisation strategy at the 2021 EGM and endorsed the Public Benefit campaign.
A key item on the Public Benefit platform was a pledge to reduce .UK domain prices. Unfortunately, that has not happened yet.
Maximum Possible Annual cost to Nominet of £7.7 million (see below for a bit more detail)
Nominet’s Annual Pre-Tax profit £5 to £5.5 million
Nominet Lost $23.5 million to CyGlass in 2.5 years from 2020.
Between the CyGlass losses and the annual pre-tax profit, there appears to be enough to cover the cost of the price reduction to £2.50.
Even if the as yet uncertain CyGlass losses are factored out, the annual net cost of the price reduction would be between £2 to £2.5 million.
Nominet has a retained surplus of £107 million in its latest annual accounts. It is more than able to absorb any shortfall between the current annual profits and the cost of the price reduction.
But the actual cost each year for the price reduction is almost certainly not going to be £7.7 million, a figure that is based on every domain being renewed every other year. A significant number of domains have been registered for up to ten years or on registrar promotions, an allowance for which appears in Nominet’s accounts.
So the actual number of renewals and so cost at the new price would not be all the domains, meaning the cost of the reduction is almost certainly less than the maximum exposure of £7.7 million above.
We are in a cost of living crisis. Member and consumer registrants are facing difficult times. There would never be a better time for Nominet to show its Public Benefit credentials and reduce the cost of .UK domains. That was the message members gave the company when they passed the EGM resolutions, on the back of the Public Benefit platform.
It is also the message they sent when they gave over 80% of their votes for Public Benefit candidates at the last AGM.
There is only one Public Benefit candidate in this year’s election. If members elect me, there will be an overwhelming case for Nominet to listen to its members and reduce .UK domain prices.