5 December, 2023

auDA has released new research demonstrating .au domain name registrations are a leading indicator of innovation and economic activity in Australia. 

The Atlas of Australia Online 2023 report, commissioned by auDA and conducted by League of Scholars in collaboration with researchers from CSIRO’s Data61 and the University of Technology Sydney, combines .au registry data with publicly available geographic, economic and technical data to depict the Australian digital landscape.

Using a new method to collate, rank and cluster .au domain names, the research applies machine learning to map the Australian technology landscape to identify areas of high business intensity and clusters of technological innovation.

Key findings include:

  • Domain name registration is a leading indicator of broader innovation activity that can be tracked in almost real time
  • Australian domain names have a strong global impact, with higher network centrality than most of Western Europe and higher than most of the OECD nations
  • Australian Digital Business Intensity (concentration of domain names as a proportion of businesses) is not population dependent
  • Digital Business Intensity can be used to analyse the success of digital policies on a highly localised level
  • Clustering analysis of the .au100K (Australia’s most significant domain names and websites) reveals eleven Technology Tribes and provides insight into the technological composition of the Australian internet, including dominant technologies and technology providers. 

auDA CEO Rosemary Sinclair AM said: “The Atlas of Australia Online research confirms that .au outperforms other Top Level Domains in terms of global impact and influence. We hope the findings from this report aid policymakers, future researchers and others looking to distil the technology landscape and support innovation, both in Australian and overseas.”

Lead research partner Professor Paul McCarthy said: “Our novel approach to classify and rank the most significant Australian domain names using with machine learning provides unique and highly quantifiable insights into Australia online.”