By Freya Berry
LONDON (Reuters) - Businesses using the ".co.uk" web address domain will be able to shorten the suffix to simply ".uk" next year to help make website names snappier, British Internet registry organization Nominet said on Wednesday.
The new domain brings Britain in line with Germany's .de and France's .fr. It will be available from summer 2014 to all new websites, for the same price as an existing .co.uk domain.
For those already holding .co.uk, .org.uk, and other similar addresses, Nominet will offer an equivalent .uk domain, which will be held in reserve for five years.
After that period, firms who do not choose to buy the new address will see that .uk domain opened up to all-comers.
"There's a lot of support for a shorter and snappier domain," said Lesley Cowley, chief executive of Nominet, a not-for-profit company.
"It's about helping people to have more memorable names and keeping the trust and confidence that they already have in .uk."
Last week ICANN, the governing body responsible for the internet's directory, introduced the domain .london for businesses seeking to associate themselves with the city.
(Corrects Nominet chief executive's name to Cowley, from Crowley, paragraph 5. And clarifies nature of Nominet's work in paragraph 1.)
(Editing by Pravin Char)