Why the sudden rush, auDA?

What’s happening here auDA?

Why the sudden rush to railroad the latest PRP Consultation Paper into the boardroom to be quickly voted on?

Has EVERY Australian domain name Registrant been contacted about Direct .AU Registration implementation, as previously promised?

Read on for all the fine details…

Direct .AU Registrations have been discussed by auDA as something that could come into existence since September 2007.

That means this conversation started 11 and a half YEARS ago.

At that time, MANY businesses and law firms stated “that direct registrations for .au domains should NOT be made available“, and an example can be found by reading this document submitted by law firm Gilbert and Tobin on Page 2, Section 2 in 2007. Currently stored on auDA servers.

In that document, Gilbert and Tobin state their reasoning for why Direct .AU Registrations should NOT come into existence are clearly documented on auDA’s own Issues Paper 2007, which most notably states:

  • Registrants who choose, or feel compelled, to switch from a 3LD (3rd Level Domain) to a direct registration may face significant costs, such as domain name registration fees, printing and stationery, signage, marketing and advertising, as well as revenue already spent promoting the current brand.
  • Introducing direct registrations may lead to increased disputes about rights to a domain name. Regardless of the implementation method, ultimately only one entity can secure the .au version of a domain name, which is particularly problematic where the same domain name is held by different registrants in different 2LDs

That being said, there were only 860,000 3LD .au domain names at that time, but only 65 million .com domain names.

Today, there are 2.8 million “.com.au” domains and 140 million “.com” domains.

If we look at the current numbers of domain names held by Australian businesses TODAY (11.5 years since Direct .au Registration was first discussed), here are the stats:

  • There are currently around 2,822,000 “.com.au” domain names.
  • Of that number, there are only around 1,241,700 Registrants holding all those names.
  • There are around 75,000 “.com.au” domain name “conflicts”, where a matching “.net.au” domain name exists opposing the “.com.au” version.
  • There are currently 250,000 Australian domain names registered to deregistered companies and cancelled ABNs.

But if we want to get to the real crux of WHICH REGISTRANTS are really going to care about Direct .AU Registrations coming into existence, check out this figure:

Around 64,000 Registrants own MORE THAN 10 “.com.au” domain names.

It is plain to see that these 64,000 Registrants have THE MOST TO LOSE with Direct .AU Registrations coming into existence.

And do these 64,000 Registrants know about, need or want Direct .AU Registration?

Yet, after 11.5 years of discussions, auDA seem to suddenly be in a crazy-mad rush to push The PRP to present the THIRD and FINAL Direct .AU Registration implementation recommendation within 14 days!

And only a very limited number of Australian businesses KNOW THIS IS CURRENTLY HAPPENING. And I do mean very limited! And the DEADLINE for the entire Australian public to make a written submission regarding this final PRP Consultation Paper is THIS MONDAY 11th MARCH, in TWO BUSINESS DAYS, and neither auDA or The PRP have publicly disclosed this information very well, if at all?!?!?!?

On this official blog post on February 21st, auDA gave the Australian public FOUR (4) DAYS to indicate they’d like to be a part of this “third and penultimate round of consultation” with The PRP. And they made NO MENTION of the date that written submissions were due on that blog post.

This means, NO ONE KNOWS this “third and penultimate round of consultation paper” is happening. And NO ONE KNOWS it is DUE ON MONDAY!

And let’s not forget, Cameron Boardman (auDA CEO) has been quoted as saying in The PRP Minutes (dated 14th December 2017), “work was underway to email ALL REGISTRANTS of .au domain names“.

Has this ever been done?

I personally have only very recently been made aware of this latest submission date via an email sent to a small number of people by Squad Consulting (currently working for The PRP).

Over the past week, there have been only 4 “Focus Groups” held by The PRP, (of which, don’t forget, only 4-days-notice was given). There have been embarrassingly LOW attendance numbers.

For example, only TWO (2) people showed up to the “Domain Investor” “Focus Group meeting”, once the DIWG (Domain Investor Focus Group) disbanded after clearly understanding their opinions were not being taken seriously by The PRP. Add to the fact there was little-to-no-notice given. And to be clear, NONE of the original DIWG Group attended this meeting due to the reasons outlined in the above article.

Surely, any sensible-person, would class anyone who owns more than 10 domain names a “Domain Investor”, (as opposed to the magic number of 100 that one single person has invented over at The PRP) and as noted above there are currently 64,000 Registrants who own more than 10 Australian domain names and ONLY 2 PEOPLE SHOWED UP to the “Domain Investor” focus group!

auDA; Why have you RUSHED THIS “penultimate round of consultation” on Direct .AU Registration and change of existing “Domain Monetisation” policy through?

I can’t recall seeing ANYWHERE in writing, on any auDA Board Meeting minutes, or anywhere else on the internet, the words, “Direct .au Registration is APPROVED.”

In fact, according to the public auDA PRP Minutes for 27th September 2017, it states on page 1: “Andrew Christie confirmed Ned O’Meara’s understanding of the 2015 Names Policy Panel Final Report recommendation to approve IN PRINCIPLE direct registration.”

This is black and white here.

Direct .AU Registration has only EVER been approved “IN PRINCIPLE”.

Perhaps the current methods don’t meet this specific requirement and Direct .AU Registration should be scrapped altogether now?


  • Has auDA emailed every single registrant about the possibility of Direct .au Registration, as promised in the PRP Minutes Dec 17?
  • Has auDA consulted with the 64,000 Registrants who currently own more than 10 Australian domain names on their thoughts regarding this latest PRP “penultimate” Consultation Paper?
  • If not, WHY THE MAD-RUSH to push through this “third and penultimate” final round of Direct .AU Registration and “Domain Monetisation” policy rollback?!
  • Does auDA accept this “third and penultimate” round of consultation on The PRP’s latest consultation paper has not properly been distributed to the Australian business public for opinion?
  • Will auDA please ask The PRP to publicly disclose the attendance numbers of all “Focus Groups” conducted over the past week?

I have formally submitted these questions to auDA’s CEO for response.

4 thoughts on “Why the sudden rush, auDA?

  • March 7, 2019 at 6:30 pm

    Thanks for putting this together, having over 2500 .com.au domains I’m really worried about why they would take this course of action…

    Please keep us posted.

    2 people like this.
  • March 7, 2019 at 6:35 pm

    I had no idea there were 65000 registrants who own 10 or more domain names. This definitely puts our company in the domain investment category. We had no idea this was about to be implemented. Please keep us informed. Please don’t disclose my email address though.

    2 people like this.
  • March 7, 2019 at 9:43 pm

    In 2016 I got elected to the board of auda, much to every ones surprise as my number one point was NO to .au
    for almost 2 years i was then ignored but i reflect on the NEW CEO at the 2016 AGM putting on the presentation a statement about Nokia ” we didn’t do anything wrong………….” and saying that wouldn’t be him !
    (there are recordings of this comment.)
    here’s the nokia example https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0DA-va7txM , why do i feel we are heading down the same path?
    Breaking news ! millennial’s don’t search google, they search hashtags #melbournenightclub

    SO adding another extension like JUST a .au is absolutely pointless now, that ship has sailed and auda didn’t keep up , web design had a kick up the bum years ago and had to change quickly to mobile responsive design, bandwidth is cheaper so more video usage on mobile and in web design, the new kids on the block spending the money online move FAST and don’t read more then 7 words before making a decision, images and video are the PRIME motivators for purchase or contact.

    ADDING a .au is now absolutely pointless not just because auda hasn’t done its job in informing australian domain name owners of their plans but simply because auda is in itself OUT OF DATE !

    don’t believe me, just walk down the street and watch people using mobiles……. they are not on Google AND google knows that.

    to now confuse whats left of domain search users is a waste of time and a last ditch money grab, everything the 2015 names panel had in front of them to make that decision is now DEAD and means nothing, the current suggested panels are not being given the BIG picture and the PRP is still operating on “yesterdays news”.

    the reality is auda has moved to slow, its the “auchenflower ( bris) bowls club” it no longer exists !

    if ANY panel is not discussing what the current/next generation of users are ACTUALLY doing then pack up your “bowls” and go home.

    I think its time to do a 2019 auda score card !

    but what would that do? the board can’t be elected or trashed, there are no members except the ones they want to be members, thye have totally ditched all the review criteria like “we wil bring back members when we reach 12k” ummmm how many do you have so far auda? are you on budget to met that target? NO, why? because then those pesky rascals would be back, best to just be a “self governing body”

    problem is EVERYONE feels like they are going to get picked up for doing 61klm in a 60klm zone if they speak out !

    case study cameron CASE STUDY ! a REAL one, tell the domain owners, god knows you have enough money !

    NO smb/sme that knows about a potential .au wants it.


    5 people like this.
  • March 14, 2019 at 2:06 pm

    How do you know “There are currently 250,000 Australian domain names registered to deregistered companies and cancelled ABNs.” Robert? I’ve see hundreds myself but I didn’t realise that the number was so high.
    I always follow the rules with regards to AUDA eligibility requirements so if the general consensus is that no one should make a complaint how are these going to be dealt with and why should people be able to get away with it?

    Anonymous likes this.

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