The demand for dot-com domains in the UK is falling off, with webmasters now clambering after .co.uk suffixes, research shows.

A study by Nominet UK, the national domain registries, explains that over 70 per cent of UK webmasters registering a domain name are opting for .uk suffixes, believing it portrays a more positive, UK-centric image on the Web. Companies now see the .com suffix as being tainted by the dot-com crash.

The report also confirms the trend is likely to continue, with over 70 per cent of those waiting to register a domain name planning to adopt a .uk domain name.

Andrew Pinder, the UK government's e-envoy said: "UK companies are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of their image on the Internet and are choosing names that reflect their values."

Dr Willie Black, managing director of Nominet, said: "Thanks to our policies and the open competition between our members, registering a .uk domain name is quick, easy and cheap, and there are already three million names registered with Nominet UK."