Back in August we posted an article letting all domain investors and entrepreneurs know that DOCA (Department Of Communications) was inviting written submissions from individuals, businesses, peak bodies and other interested parties on proposed changes to the .au Domain Administration Terms of Endorsement, through the open public consultation process.
In short, DOCA wanted to know whether the Australian Government’s Terms of Endorsement for the .au Domain Administration (auDA) remained ‘fit for purpose’.
Domainer reached out to a number of Domain Investors and entrepreneurs at the time, and a number of us put our heads together and formed an unofficial collective called ‘auDNA‘, .au Domain Name Association.
You can read our PDF submission in full below, but we also wanted to point out what was written in regards to auDA’s involvement in seemingly continuing to ‘stall’ the launch of the new DropCatcher.com.au service.
I, of course, can’t wait for the service to be launched, and for DropCatcher.com.au to be granted their Registrar status so I can go back to buying dropped domain names. It’s been nearly 4 months now, since I was banned from Drop.com.au for very questionable reasoning. Drop.com.au currently enjoys a monopoly that auDA have seemingly allowed them to create, over the daily dropping domain name auctions.
In regards to Drop.com.au‘s current ‘monopoly’, the auDNA DOCA submission stated:
From what we’ve been told by a new potential Registrar looking to enter the market, auDA has been continually “moving the goal posts” and quoting “new draft Registrar Agreements” not yet available to the public, as reasons for ‘provisional approval’ being denied. For example, in one email from auDA it was stated to the new potential Registrar that they would need a Baseline Security Audit prior to entering into a registrar agreement, but then in a further email seemingly changed their mind and stated a full ISO27001 audit, at a cost of over $20,000, would be required for ‘provisional approval’. And this all happened after auDA had taken payment of a few thousand dollars for a ‘Registrar Application Fee’. From what we understand the potential new Registrar is still in the process of working with auDA in this regard at the time of this submission.
We believe auDA are unreasonably restraining competition and are singling out a potential new competitor Registrar and Drop Catcher for no substantial or reasonable cause.
The Department of Communications should soon be reading the auDNA submission and we all hope they have a much-needed look into auDA in this regard and many others.
And as of fresh Drop Catcher news today, we reached out to Cam Bell from the upcoming new DropCatcher.com.au(.) He informed us that they’ve just been given a ‘provisional testing approval’ green light, even though nothing has changed in their Registrar submission to auDA since May, nearly 4 months ago.
If this is the case, why did auDA seemingly deliberately take 4 months to approve the new Drop Catcher’s ‘provisional testing approval’ and when will we finally see the new Drop Catcher launch against the current monopoly holder?
You can read the full auDNA DOCA submission below. Special thanks to all of those who donated time and resources to create the submission. You know who you are.