My article yesterday about “Rocking The Boat” has produced some good comments – and raised some pertinent issues. I’ve now got enough material to make a post every day for the rest of the month!
So let’s get straight to the point.
At the very best, I am only a “maybe” when it comes to introducing the ability to register domain names directly under .au – e.g. Domainer.au
For a start, I simply don’t understand the need? Why we would want to go through the pain and aggravation of trying to bring in such a change (more on this another time).
In Australia, there are approximately 3,000,000 domains registered in total – of which about 86% are com.au domains. That’s about 2,580,000.
Compare this figure to .com domains. Guess how many there are registered? Roughly 116,000,000. No mistakes with zero’s – that is 116 million dot com domains that are currently registered. I guess it is fair to say that we have a long way to go to catch up!
The “For It” Case
Proponents of allowing registrations directly under .au argue the following main points:
- It will open up the space & allow businesses to register domains that have previously been unavailable.
- Much shorter to type, therefore they are preferable.
- Shorter names are more appealing and more memorable. They would make the domain name system simpler and easier to use.
- Many other domain spaces around the world have done it, therefore Australia is lagging behind.
- A registrar recently said that they receive a large number of requests for .au domains from their clients, suggesting that they would be incredibly popular.
The first point is very debatable. Some of the others are valid – but are they sufficient to change the whole system that has been working reasonably well until now?
I don’t think so – particularly if there are defensive registrations.
What I would like to see change
Yesterday I took Brett Fenton (fellow Names Panel member) to task over some comments he had written on the TPP Wholesale blog. He has since responded to me in the comments section yesterday, and I thank him for that.
As I said, I like Brett, as he is one of the most straight up guys you could hope to meet. Calls a spade a spade (as do I).
What we do agree on though is:
- The need for individuals to be able to register a domain without the need for an ABN.
- Less rules and red tape than currently exist.
I think the above could (and should) be achieved within the current framework.
If the majority consensus of respondents to the current survey are in favour of adopting direct registrations; but on the basis of adequate protection for existing registrants (either via NZ or UK model), then I would go along with it.
There are a few “if’s and but’s there – which is why at this stage I am a “maybe”.
Over to you!
- I am a member of the auDA 2015 Names Policy Panel.
- I am also a domainer / domain investor with a substantial portfolio of com.au domain names.