A greater choice of Australian domain names for websites and email addresses is on the way for individuals, businesses and organisations with the release of the new .au direct namespace from 24 March 2022.
For the first time, Australians will be able to register domain names directly before the .au, such as getyour.au. This is also referred to as a “second level name” or the “.au namespace”.
The release of .au direct will complement existing Australian namespaces such as com.au, net.au, edu.au, gov.au and org.au, and:
- Deliver a wider choice of available names in the trusted Australian domain
- Allow users to register shorter, more memorable online names
- Provide names that are easier to type and display on mobile devices.
auDA CEO, Rosemary Sinclair AM said, “I am delighted to announce .au direct will be available from March 2022, providing consumers the opportunity to licence shorter, eye-catching names and bringing Australia in line with most other country code Top Level Domains including the United Kingdom (.uk), Canada (.ca), the USA (.us) and New Zealand (.nz).
“The trusted, reliable and uniquely Australian .au domain has been supporting Australians online for more than 35 years and the launch of .au direct is an exciting innovation, delivering enhanced opportunities for Australian Internet users.”
.au direct will be available from participating auDA accredited registrars to anyone with a verified Australian presence, including businesses, associations, government entities and individuals, subject to auDA’s licensing rules and the Priority Allocation Process.
Priority Allocation sets out a consistent and transparent process that will allow existing holders of domain name licences the first opportunity to register a corresponding domain in the new .au direct namespace. For example, the existing registrant of getyour.com.au, will be able to apply for Priority Status for getyour.au during the Priority Allocation period.
It also determines how the .au direct name is allocated in the small fraction of cases where more than one interested registrant applies for Priority Status. For example, if Registrant A holds the licence for getyour.com.au and Registrant B holds the licence for getyour.net.au, the name will be allocated according to priority categories, which are determined by:
- The existing domain name creation date; and
- The Priority cut-off date of 4 February 2018, as outlined in auDA’s Priority Allocation Process.
Registrants will have six months from launch to apply for Priority Status with an accredited registrar. If registrants do not apply, corresponding names will be made available for registration by the public after this six-month period.
In preparation for the introduction of .au direct, auDA will continue to work closely with the Australian domain name industry and broader community and undertake ongoing communications to raise awareness of the new and exciting .au direct namespace.
Note to media:
The Priority Allocation Process and Priority Status cut-off date were recommended by an independent Policy Review Panel in 2019 following public consultation.
Information about .au direct registration and the Priority Allocation Process, including priority categories, can be found on the auDA website. The .au Namespace Implementation rules set out the Priority Allocation Process.