The new .me.uk domain opened for registrations Monday morning, after a strong vote of approval by Nominet, the United Kingdom's national registry of domain names.
It is the first new domain name to be introduced since Nominet started operating the .uk registry in 1996. In a vote Friday, 75 percent of the registry's 598 members voted in favor of launching the domain name, designed to put more of a personal spin on U.K. Web addresses.
The personal domain went live at 1 minute past midnight on Monday. It is reserved for the names of individuals who have some connection to the U.K. and is intended to work the same way that .co.uk does for British businesses. Its arrival coincides with the launch of new top-level domains, including .biz.
"To date, there has been no SLD (second-level domain) within the .uk registry which specifically serves the interests of individuals, so this marks an important step forward in the way people express themselves on the Web," said Willie Black, the managing director of Nominet.
Registrations for the new domain names will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Members of the public are likely to be charged around $145 (100 pounds) by their Internet service provider for their "name.me.uk" Web address. Such charges generally include the cost of hosting the domain name.
All disputes that arise from .me.uk registrations will be dealt with by Nominet's dispute-resolution procedures.
Wendy McAuliffe reported from London.