Nominet has released an interim statement in which they confirm that they won't be pursuing an auction model for their premium expired domain names.
"Firstly, we will not pursue an auction model. While a proportion of responses from a wide range of sectors including the drop–catching market supported this approach, the prevailing view was this is not the role of the Registry." - Nominet Expired Consulation
It will be interesting to see why they chose to discount it. I worry that this was done less on evidence and more the fear of members signing a petition.
I was saddened to see this, I believe it is a massive mistake, and I fear those who have been calling for a system where users can publish endless amounts of connections to Nominet.
I'm not sure people can see it yet, but the whole drop system has just been sold off to one or two users. One or two users will buy up a massive number of connections and people shouldn't be so naive to believe Nominet can limit that to 6 or 10 connections per person.
The more names that these large players catch, the more connections they will buy, until just 1-2 people own the whole drop process as others give up.
I guarantee you all right now that within 12-24 months of this going live, you'll be begging Nominet to revisit the auction model. Unfortunately, by that time it will be much too late.