Changes to the .au domain name system ?

06 12 2015

Possible changes to the Australian domain name space ? The 2015 auDA Names Policy Panel has drawn to a close and finished its public consultations, and will shortly publish its final recommendations to the auDA Board.

Public Consultations

auDA, Australia’s Domain Name Administrator’s 2015 Names Policy Panel released an issues paper in April 2015 which attracted comment, while its draft report was released for public comment in August 2015. The draft report recommended that registration of second level domain names, for example, should be permitted, along side the current third level domains such as and

The public was asked to comment on the draft recommendations either through an online survey or through written submissions. There was a significant response to the online survey with 4495 responses being received, while there were fewer written submissions which attracted ASX heavy weights and trademark holders such as REA Group and, in addition to consumer advocates ACCAN.

Possible Outcome

While the final report has not been released, based on the extensive survey responses it is widely tipped that the final report will recommend permitted registrations at the second level. The terms of reference for the panel did not include recommending implementation advice, it is expected that if the Panel recommends registrations at the second level, that auDA will appoint a working group to advise the auDA Board on methods of implementation, were the Board to accept the recommendations of the Panel.

If second level domain registrations are permitted once the final report is decided on by the auDA Board in early 2016, trademark owners and domain name owners alike, will need to be aware of the need to keep informed about the possible implementation and the implications it will have for them.

Further Information

For further information the auDA Panel website hosts copies of the responses along with the issues paper and the draft report, and eventually upon release it will contain the final report of the Panel – the website is found auDA Names Policy Panel.

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