What Did The auDA CEO Say?

Given recent happenings with regards auDA and AusRegistry (and the registry contract), yesterday I attempted to make contact with Cameron Boardman (CEO, auDA) in order to get some comments and clarifications. He phoned me back this morning, and we had a good chat. Whilst some of what he said was “off the record”, he did say that I could inform readers that:

♦  The decision about AusRegistry (made at the Board meeting on 24th April)  had nothing whatsoever to do with their performance and integrity as a registry operator. There are absolutely no complaints in that regard. A multitude of other factors had been taken into consideration.

♦  There will be a “fairly significant announcement” made next week in relation to the tender process.

♦  In relation to direct registrations, auDA is currently collating the responses to the “qualitative interviews” that commenced back on February 14th. It had been hoped that summary outcomes would be made available to members in the April member newsletter – if this doesn’t happen, then they will follow shortly thereafter.

♦  Mr Boardman reiterated his comments made at the AGM – that is, the registry contract would need to be firmly in place before the implementation of direct registrations could even be entertained. This obviously extrapolates to what they are contemplating now.

Some Hindsight

Before I wrote the above, my post today was about looking back at some of what was said at the last auDA AGM. I went back and listened to some of the audio recordings I made on November 28th 2016. There were many topics covered – including the proposed registry tender; and of course, direct registrations. Hindsight is indeed a wonderful thing! 😉

First up is the registry tender – have a listen to this excellent question from Sean F; and the answer from Cameron Boardman (CEO, auDA). Juicy bit starts at about :30 seconds; and it runs for just over 2 minutes. First published on Domainer back on December 14th, 2016. Given everything that has happened since the AGM (Golden Gate etc), the recent decision made by auDA is now understandable in my opinion.

 

 

 

Second up is a well thought out question from Luke Summers about regulation and red tape in the .au space. Once again, in hindsight, it’s interesting to listen to Cameron Boardman’s responses.

 

 

At approximately 2:45 into the 4 minute recording, Boardman says:

I’d like to make this point around com.au for example. There is absolutely no intention from me, or anyone on the Board; or any of my staff, to devalue what that asset base is …

At 3:43 he also says:

But com.au must maintain its integrity – it must be that absolute premium secure product …

Coming Up Next Week

I have some previously unpublished audio from the AGM in relation to direct registrations and “prior rights”. An enduser / advertising guy talked about the benefits of direct registration, but was probably a bit shocked to learn that he or his clients may not automatically get the shorter version of their premium com.au that they paid squillions for! By the way, it was me that did the shocking. 😉

Until then.

Ned O’Meara – 28th April 2017


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7 thoughts on “What Did The auDA CEO Say?

  • Avatar
    April 28, 2017 at 2:04 pm
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    auDA should have shown more proper governance, transparency and demand side engagement over the last 17 years.

    The new CEO Cameron Boardman has claimed he will fix things and improve transparency and change but he has acknowledged the various power against change. Many long time domain industry experts came forward offering support for him to improve auDA for the benefit of Australia, Supply and also Demand Domain Name Registrant Consumers.

    auDA and the new CEO must stand up to the overwhelming power of supply dominated Boards, committees and the clear supply membership stacking of the demand auDA membership now also. ( Supply members seem to have registering as both supply members and also via various entities as demand members which gives them increased voting power which helped sway results over many issues such as the proposed competing unneeded .au extension)

    The list of serious issues remain at auDA. The issues have been clearly itemised for the new CEO, auDA board and relevant Government people but it appears no response will be forthcoming from the CEO and in some ways auDA Board members have now been “muted” on industry forums like http://www.dntrade.com.au.

    Many people have concerns auDA could just evolve now into an even larger empire with less oversight. The worst thing that could happen is if auDA bases it’s wholesale registry model on that of previous contractors or suppliers whose obvious goal was profit. As is evident both Melbourne IT and Ausregistry made massive profits from the system over the years. Both Ausregistry and Melbourne IT played dominant roles on the auDA board & Committees  where policy, profit and Australian Domain Name Administration & management decisions are made.

    $ 118 million payday https://www.crn.com.au/news/118m-payday-for-melbourne-domain-name-firm-407350

    With  new technology available auDA could run a secure wholesale registry at a low cost. All costs and tendering need to be transparent or certain parties may seek to profit again from the .au cash cow. Certainly I think auDA needs to be sure to not just hire or contract existing or previous wholesale registry staff or entities or the profit supply first mindset may also not change.

    Australian existing Domain Name Registrants need to see a benefit from the auDA wholesale registry move. There is no reason why auDA cannot reduce wholesale .com.au fees by $5 a year if they take over the wholesale registry and cut Change of Registrant fees all together. The “not for profit” auDA has over $10 million in the bank now already from registrant profits. That figure may be over $13 million now unless it has been wasted?

    auDA needs to focus on fixing the registry issues PLUS making .com.au, net.au the best extensions for Australians. There are tens of millions of .com.au, .net.au available now to register. and even a healthy aftermarket if people really want to have a name already registered.

    Ausregistry / Neustar pushed for another .au extension hoping they would be the wholesale registry also and they would make even more profits. Now they are gone auDA can stand up against a lot of the false and misleading information certain supply entities put out claiming there was high demand for another competing .au extension and that the .uk and .nz was remarkably successful when they have not been at all successful. From public available material and official results auDA knows the claims where not true and so does Deloitte who have been consulting to auDA on the .au.

    The 3000 people survey being touted by auDA  as evidence 75% of people want another .au extension is not only heavily flawed it was also manipulated by Domain name Supply entities who stood/ stand to gain financially from the proposed change.

    There are over 3 million existing .com.au and .net.au registrants.  auDA has all of their contact details yet auDA refuses to let them know about the proposed change which could have drastic detrimental affects on many existing registrant and businesses.

    Melbourne IT and their related entities sent out Yes Only vote survey forms pushing for the additional competing .au extension which stacked results unfairly. This was done while they where auDA Board and Committee members.

    It is apparent Melbourne IT knew and knows this may increase their profits. They remain one of the most expensive registrars in Australia and they once had the registry monopoly all to themselves prior to auDA and Ausregistry.

    http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2002/07/06/1025667076935.html

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/businessinnovations/the-coming-dot-au-property-boom/2008/02/26/1203788509040.html

    http://www.dotau.org/archive/2001-09/0157.html
    [DNS] Meeting to discuss auDA’s Registry Technical Specification – Tues day 2 October 2001 – 2pm to 4pm
     

    MELBOURNE IT has pushed for some crazy additional Australian extensions for years .. why?
    “Melbourne IT has advocated in the names panel, that auDA should introduce additional second level
    domains such as “.name.au”, “.biz.au”, and “.pro.au”

    https://www.auda.org.au/txt/tonkin10.txt

    Competition Model
    https://www.auda.org.au/pdf/cmap-model-public1.pdf

    https://www.auda.org.au/index.php/policies/panels-and-committees/registry-competition-review-panel/rcrp-meeting-12-august-2004/

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  • Avatar
    April 28, 2017 at 2:48 pm
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    Direct registrations… would be nice to have some certainty on that!

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    • Ned O'Meara
      April 28, 2017 at 2:52 pm
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      Absolutely Matt – it is the “elephant in the room” imo.

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  • Avatar
    April 28, 2017 at 4:43 pm
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    Refreshing to see AUDA take concrete steps to distance themselves from Ausregistry. The AUDA-Ausregistry connection is the most obvious issue effecting Auda’s credibility. Let’s hope this bring new thinking to AUDA in terms of serving the general public rather than serving supply side interests. We all give AUDA a hard time but for once they have “done the right thing”.

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    • Avatar
      April 28, 2017 at 5:05 pm
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      Huh? They had to be dragged apart by the Government.

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      • Avatar
        April 28, 2017 at 5:11 pm
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        It know if definitely looks that way. Even so it is a positive change, if government is now pulling the strings at AUDA and brought in this change then that is a very good thing, they’ll likely to pulling the strings on the other important issue. Of the only 2 things that really matter at AUDA they have now taken steps to fix up one, this represents a big improvement in the way AUDA is being run.

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  • Avatar
    April 30, 2017 at 11:19 am
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    For all the talk of the new auda and transparency, we seem to have gone backwards.

    Jeff

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