When second level names launch, existing registrants of .au domains will have the chance to apply for priority to register the exact match of their domain name at the second level.
The process by which registrants apply for and are allocated these names is called the Priority Allocation Process and it is set out in the .au Namespace Implementation Policy.
Registrants of existing com.au, net.au, org.au, asn.au, id.au, gov.au and edu.au domain names will be able to participate in the Priority Allocation Process.
How the Priority Allocation Process works
When second level domains launch, all names in the registry prior to launch will be reserved from registration at the second level.
Registrants will then have six months to apply for priority status to register the second level match of their name.
For example, the registrant of getyour.com.au can apply for priority to register getyour.au.
In most cases the applicant will be allocated the second level name soon after they apply for it.
In a small number of instances there will be more than one application for a second level name, as it is possible that different registrants hold the same name in different namespaces. This is known as a contested name. In these cases the second level name will be allocated either upon agreement between applicants, or based on creation date. (See below for more information on contested names)
If there are no applications for a name during the 6-month priority application period, that name will be available to the public on a first come, first served basis at the close of the priority application period.
There is absolutely no obligation to apply to register the exact match of your existing domain name. Your existing third level domain names will all continue to operate as normal and according to auDA policy regardless of whether you take up the option of the matching second level name.
Applying for priority status
Once launched, you will be able to apply for priority status via the registrar of your existing .au domain name, or any other registrar offering second level .au domain names. There will be a fee for lodging an application and, like the prices of domain name registrations, this fee will vary between registrars.
You must ensure that you are eligible to hold the .au domain which forms the basis of your application. You will also need your domain password for your application to be accepted.
Once you lodge your application you will be unable to update the registrant information associated with your domain name so make sure it is up to date before you lodge your application.
Once you've submitted it, your application is categorised based on the creation date of the domain name on which the application is based:
- Priority category 1: Names created on or before 4 February 2018
- Priority category 2: Names created after 4 February 2018
NOTE: The “cut-off date” of 4 February 2018 may change due to the implementation of second level .au domains being delayed until 2021.
The priority category determines how a second level name is allocated where there are multiple applications for the same second level name.
What if there are multiple applications for the same name? The contested names process
In a small number of cases, there will be more than one valid application for a name reserved at the second level, as different registrants can hold the same name in different namespaces.
Tina is the registrant of getyour.com.au
Gene is the registrant of getyour.net.au
Louise is the registrant of getyour.org.au
Tina, Gene and Louise would all be eligible to apply for priority status to register getyour.au
In these cases how the second level name is allocated depends on each applicant’s priority category (see above) and according to the following principles:
- Category 1 applicants are given priority over category 2 applicants;
- Where there are multiple category 1 applications, the name is allocated on agreement/negotiation between the category 1 applicant;.
- Where there are only priority category 2 applicants, the name is allocated to the applicant with the earliest creation date.
Negotiation between category 1 applications
Where there are multiple category 1 applications, those registrants will need to negotiate between themselves who is to be allocated the second level domain name they've both applied for.
Applicants will be able to contact each other to discuss the name via the publicly-available registrant contact information in the WHOIS database.
Where an agreement is reached:
- Unsuccessful applicants withdraw their applications
- The name is allocated
Where no agreement is reached:
- The second level name remains reserved;
- Applicants will need to renew their application on a yearly basis;
- The name remains locked until there is one active application.
If you’ve missed out on the exact match of your name at the second level, your existing third level domain name is unaffected and will continue to operate according to .au policy.