On 17 May 2023, auDA CEO Rosemary Sinclair spoke to 6PR Perth’s Oliver Peterson about auDA’s inaugural Why .au? Australia’s trusted .au domain report and the significance of the .au to Australians
Oliver Perterson: New research shows that you are more likely to trust an Australian business online if its website ends with .au. Does that ring true to you? If the website like ours 6PR.com.au you think, yeah, trust that a bit more, maybe your own business has got a .au. Joining me now is Rosemary Sinclair. She is the CEO of auDA. Hello, Rosemary.
Rosemary Sinclair: Hi, Oly. How are you?
Oliver Perterson: I'm well, thank you Rosemary. How important and popular has the .au domain been?
Rosemary Sinclair: Hugely important. And I think if we just cast ourselves back to the COVID pandemic period and think about all the things that we started doing online that we had never done before, it was the .au that made that possible for Australians. So, whether they were getting information about COVID from government websites, or ordering things online, or engaging with friends and colleagues in social activities, education and the like, so many things were enabled because of .au. It's a great big machine, Oly, that kind of rumbles away very quietly in the background, but it's hugely important to Australians.
Oliver Perterson: Three in four Australians are more likely to trust an Australian business if its website ends with .au. So, it just shows how important it is Rosemary.
Rosemary Sinclair: Exactly. And that's because of the way we have built and run .au and the rules that apply to it. For example, you have to have an Australian presence to get a .au domain name, and that means two things to consumers. The first is that they can support local Australian businesses and they really like that, but it also means they get the protection of local Australian laws and they really like that too.
Oliver Peterson: That's important, isn't it? Particularly for consumers to know that you'll be covered under Australian consumer law if that website has .au.
Rosemary Sinclair: That's exactly right. It's very important. And I was looking at some economic statistics the other day which just show amazing growth in digital activity and the importance of that to the economy. And if that's to continue, then people need to be able to really trust .au, and these numbers are telling us that they do, and that encourages us to keep working so that that trust stays and grows.
Oliver Peterson: Isn't it interesting in a global context as well, the domain name of .au has now been propelled into the world's top ten, so it's one of the most popular website domains in the entire planet. Can you quite believe that?
Rosemary Sinclair: It's really surprising, isn't it? And we were very proud when we got those numbers and saw exactly what you're saying, that among top level domain names, including .com, .net, .uk, .org, there's .au at number ten. It's just an amazing result, and one of which we're very proud.
Oliver Peterson: Will we get to a point where it's full, where there's capacity, is there any room or ability to be able to have a little bit of wriggle room so it continues to grow the .au domain name Rosemary?
Rosemary Sinclair: Absolutely, Oly. We've got a lot of redundancy and extra capacity in .au. Technically, we've got no problem. We could have millions more domain names. People can have domain names that they think of as long as they're not taken, as long as they're eligible for that domain name. So, there's no cap, if you like, on domain names. And if we found that we needed new namespaces, then we could develop those as well. So, it's a resource that can keep growing to meet the evolving needs of Australian business and Australian consumers. It's really great.
Oliver Peterson: And due to its success as well, if you're an Australian business operator or small business owner that doesn't have a presence, the .au is so important. And if you don't have the .au, it is something to consider. Is it a bit more of a cost, though, than just, say, a .com or a .net domain name Rosemary?
Rosemary Sinclair: We work really hard, Oly, to make sure that the cost for .au domain name is very competitive across all domain names and so that's really not an issue for Australians. The cost of a domain name is a couple of cups of coffee a day. It's in the order of about $10 [per year]. The providers of the domain names are registrars, of course, add all sorts of other valuable services like websites and security arrangements and so on. So, the price can often include those services. But the domain name is a very small component and in no way a hurdle to businesses jumping online.
Oliver Peterson: Good to know. Rosemary, thank you so much for your time today.
Rosemary Sinclair: Pleasure Oly.
Oliver Peterson: Rosemary Sinclair, there talking about the .au domain names. Is it something that you are conscious of and do you look towards the fact again, our website, 6PR.com.au? Yep, it's a bit more trustworthy. It's got the .au with it. And if you're a small business owner or operator and you've got a website, you've got a web presence, how important was it to you? Or have you even factored in to make sure that your domain name was .com.au or .net.au, just to have the .au domain name?
Read the Why .au? Australia’s trusted .au domain report here