Yes, no – or maybe?


If you have one or more domain names – either in a personal capacity or as part of a business (or both), then please read this.

Why? Because possible changes to the way .au domain names are allocated and used are currently being discussed. And you have the opportunity to have a say.

.au Domain Administration (auDA) is currently inviting comment on a public issues paper. This has been prepared by a Names Policy Panel consisting of nominated members of the Australian Internet community – and I’m privileged to be one of those.

(The information and questions contained in this post are generated solely by myself – they are simply to engender debate and seek comments from stakeholders. They do not seek to reflect the opinion of the Names Policy Panel or the auDA).

So what’s the big deal?

Probably the most important issue under debate is whether direct registration of domain names at the second level under .au (eg. should be permitted, or whether the current policy of registration only at the third level (eg. should remain. Obviously, lots of things flow from this.

Some questions to consider:

Having spoken with many domain “owners” in recent weeks, there seems to be mixed feelings. Plenty for it; plenty against it. So I thought I’d throw out just a few questions to encourage your thought processes. Please don’t read into these my personal preferences – I’m keeping an open mind until all the submissions are in!

  • Firstly, should there be any change at all? Perhaps you’re satisfied with the way things are? Or are you of the school of thought that if it ain’t broke, don’t try and fix it? Is there a real and pressing need – or do you consider this just a revenue raising exercise? Is it going to simply cost you unnecessary money to protect your existing registrations?
  • If you are in favour of shorter domain names eventually being brought in, how do you think they should be allocated? Should existing registrants of the same domain name (in one of the existing extensions e.g.;; be given protection with the option of having first right to register the new extension? If so, who has the better claim?
  • Again, if you’re in favour of the shorter extension, do you think the same eligibility rules (as apply currently) should be kept? Or should the market be opened up to allow Australian individuals without an ABN to acquire these new domains? What about people or businesses from overseas? (We don’t currently permit this, though countries like New Zealand and the UK do).

How do you respond?

If you’ve got time, I’d love to hear your point of view here.

Most importantly though, make sure you let the auDA Names Policy Panel know your feelings. There are two ways in which you can comment on the issues raised in the Issues Paper.

Send a written submission to:

Jo Lim, Chief Operations and Policy Officer, auDA
fax: 03 8341 4112
Or do the Online Survey







One thought on “Yes, no – or maybe?

  • April 27, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    Not saying I’m against it, but… if direct registration does come in, then I’d hope there would be some level of protection for existing registrants – more than say 12 months, and preferably registrants could register their intent to register/reserve without having to actually register for quite some time (years even).

    Otherwise I struggle to see the merit.

    Also if they opened up direct registrations to non ABN holders and businesses from overseas I feel that may cheapen the brand.

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