In August we announced a significant development of the .au domain, with .au direct domain names – like auda.au – to become available in March 2022.
This is the first new namespace launched in the .au country code top level domain since community geographic domain names in 2004, and is a great innovation for Australian businesses, entrepreneurs and individuals.
How are .au direct names different?
Apart from being shorter and more memorable, .au direct domain names will function the same way as names in the other existing namespaces.
The rules that set out who can register .au direct names (eligibility rules) and what name they can choose (allocation rules) are the two key differences.
To be eligible for a .au direct name you simply need to have a verified connection to Australia, defined in the rules as an ‘Australian presence’. An Australian presence includes, among other things, being an Australian citizen or permanent resident or a registered Australian company or association.
In other existing namespaces, there are additional eligibility requirements. For example, in com.au and net.au you need to be a commercial entity, and for org.au you need to meet the definition of a not-for-profit.
The allocation rules for .au direct allow you to choose any name that is available in .au direct provided it complies with Australian law and meets the syntax requirements. This is a lot less restrictive than the other existing namespaces where there are additional specific rules that outline how the name you choose must be related to you or your organisation.
Who are .au direct names for?
.au direct is a general use namespace for anyone with an Australian presence that is verified by registrars.
For this reason, .au direct names are perfect for a wide range of people looking to build an online presence for new ventures, creative or personal projects, campaigns and/ or for those who simply want a striking, new personal email address. We are excited by the prospect of more Australians benefiting from more choice in the .au domain.
And remember, if you already hold a .au domain name in another namespace (e.g. com.au, id.au), you’ll will have the first opportunity to apply for priority to register its exact match in .au direct. You can find out more about that here.
What can I do now?
.au direct names are launching on 24 March 2022 so you don’t need to do anything just yet.
However, if you already hold a .au name in another namespace (like a com.au or edu.au name) and you think you might like to apply for the matching .au direct name you can make sure you’re familiar with how the priority allocation process works.
We also recommend you check your registrant details are up to date and that you are eligible to hold your current name. The .au licensing rules require you to meet your eligibility and allocation requirements throughout the licence period and your eligibility will be checked when you apply for priority to register your matching .au direct name. To update your registrant information, contact your registrar.
You can learn more about the launch of .au direct here. In the lead up to the launch in March, we’ll be providing additional information to answer any questions you have about the new .au direct namespace. If you already have .au domain name in an existing namespace such as com.au or asn.au, and your registration details are up-to-date, you can also expect to hear from your registrar.
If you want to hear the latest news about .au direct you can become an auDA member if you haven’t already. It’s free to join and there are a range of member benefits, including invitations to events and webinars. Become an auDA Member here.