Have your say: should .au be opened up for direct registration?

Posted by Jo Lim on 27 April 2015

This morning I spoke to 774 ABC Melbourne’s Red Symons (available here) about an important public consultation process that auDA is currently running.

Every 3-4 years auDA runs an Advisory Panel process to look at the policies underlying the allocation of .au domain names. Advisory Panels are made up of 20 or so people who represent a broad range of stakeholders – registrars, resellers, domainers, consumers, IT industry, legal sector, government and business – and their input, combined with public consultation, helps us to ensure that our policies remain effective, relevant and responsive to the needs of the Australian Internet community.

The 2015 Names Policy Panel kicked off in February this year and has so far met three times. Under the deft guidance of Panel Chair, Derek Whitehead of Swinburne University – a veteran of these processes – Panel members have had robust and thoughtful discussions about the issues under review. It is fair to say that all Panel members are very aware of the need to look at the big picture and consider what would be in the best interests of all users of the Australian DNS, not just their own constituency groups.

The Panel is required to undertake at least two rounds of public consultation, and the first one of these commenced this week with the release of an Issues Paper. The paper canvasses a number of issues and potential changes to the rules around who can have a domain name, and what kind of domain name they can have.

The most significant issue – and the one that’s received the most interest in both industry and mainstream media – is the possibility of opening up .au to direct registrations. This would mean that instead of registering myname.com.au or myname.net.au, people could register myname.au.

Think this is a great idea and about time too? Or do you think this is the worst possible thing that could happen to the .au domain space?

Either way, we want to know your views.

If you care about the future of the .au domain, I urge you to take the time to read the Issues Paper and submit your comments by email or online survey before the 1 June deadline.