Disclaimer: I am now an auDA Demand Class Director. The article below is my personal opinion, and does not purport to be the views of auDA.
So here goes with treading the fine line of being both a blogger and an auDA Director. Wish me well!
Biggest Change In 15 Years
Yesterday saw the decision made by the auDA Board to change registry operators from the long standing incumbent AusRegistry (Neustar) to Afilias. This was the culmination of the “Registry Transformation Project” (RTP) led by well-respected industry veteran Dr Bruce Tonkin, and ably assisted by Project Manager Peter Mason.
- auDA official statement is here.
- David Goldstein from DomainPulse also covers the story from an Australian perspective.
- For an international take, have a read of the Domain Name Wire and Domain Incite articles.
Some key points:
- AusRegistry’s contract continues until 30th June 2018 – Afilias takes over 1st July 2018.
- As you would expect, Afilias have hit the ground running – the DNW and Domain Incite articles highlight this fact.
- A smooth transition with no disruption to registrants, registrars and re-sellers is an absolute priority of all concerned.
- auDA would not have made the decision to change unless there were clear benefits in doing so. There will no doubt be some more official comms on this in the near future.
- As someone who has been a vocal critic of auDA’s lack of transparency, communication and process in the past, I have nothing but praise for the RTP process. If there is one person you would have wanted to properly oversee this enormous project, it is Bruce Tonkin. He is an absolute straight-shooter, and there is not a political bone in his body.
Given that I’ve only been an auDA Director for “5 minutes”, the following comments are definitely made in my personal capacity.
In all my history as a domain investor in Australia (since early 2000’s), I have never known anyone else but AusRegistry as the registry operator. Overall, I believe they did a fantastic job, and they should be commended for this. No one that I know has ever complained about their service reliability. In my brief stint as a Registrar, the service and back-up support I received from management and staff at AusRegistry was top notch. I sincerely thank them for their service to the .au namespace.
Having been a member of the 2012 Industry Advisory Panel, it was decided then that come what may, there would have to be a competitive Request for Tender process for the registry contract in 2017. The market needed to be tested for price and service levels. The RTP is a culmination of this decision made back then.
Whilst there may not have been a lot of operators in the past keen to take on the .au registry contract, this year proved the opposite. The auDA RTP received worldwide responses, and there were three “finalists” selected. Ultimately, a proper process (independently audited for competitiveness and probity every step of the way) was followed to arrive at the Afilias decision.
Ned O’Meara – 19th December 2017