18 October, 2020

The 2019/2020 auDA Annual Report was launched today, with data from the Australian domain name administrator showing an increase in domain name registrations as the impacts of COVID-19 were felt across Australia and activities moved increasingly online.

In the three months from April 2020, registrations of new domain names across the name spaces in the .au country-code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) increased by 28% over the previous quarter.

Reflecting on the year, Chair Alan Cameron AO said that auDA has been strongly focused on the secure and reliable operation of the .au ccTLD during this time.

“Australians are overwhelmingly reliant on critical enabling infrastructure to support the economy and their everyday lives, and auDA is a crucial part of that support. As always, cybersecurity has been a strong focus of auDA’s work, as well as ensuring ongoing resilience and trust in the .au ccTLD.”

Alan Cameron, formerly Chair of ASIC, leads a new auDA Board that was appointed in November 2019, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to the oversight of auDA and its operations.

In March 2020 Rosemary Sinclair AM joined auDA as the new CEO with Mr Cameron commenting: “Rosemary’s wide professional and managerial experience combined with deep knowledge of the industry are proving invaluable as auDA continues its important work of ensuring a secure, robust and reliable .au ccTLD.”

auDA’s Annual Report also details the significant work the organisation has undertaken in the past year, including:

  • development of a revitalised governance structure, focussing on consultation, transparency and accountability;
  • the ongoing modernisation of the domain name licensing framework in Australia to create a simpler and fairer system;
  • the introduction of best practice security standards for auDA and the registrar community;
  • an increase of over 250% in the associate membership of auDA;
  • development of a new auDA brand and website; and
  • finalisation of auDA’s response to all recommendations arising from the Government’s April 2018 review.

In 2019/2020 auDA continued its program of extensive public consultation on the new licensing framework, which is designed to modernise and simplify the rules around the licensing of .au domain names. With an implementation date expected late in the first quarter or early second quarter of 2021, once successfully implemented the new framework paves the way for the introduction of direct registration at the second level of .au (e.g. like csiro.au)  – shorter domain names that will allow for more choice and flexibility in the .au domain name marketplace.

The Chair acknowledged the importance of auDA’s collaborative multi stakeholder approach.

“The significant modernisation of the .au ccTLD licensing framework that auDA is currently undertaking is only made possible by the industry’s and community’s willingness to engage in and contribute to ongoing positive change in the .au ccTLD.”

“The .au ccTLD is an integral part of Australia’s digital infrastructure, and auDA will continue to work hard and build for the future to ensure that the .au ccTLD remains a secure, reliable and trusted public asset for all Australians.”