From none in February, second level, or direct, .au registrations have taken off, reaching 716,278 as of 31 December 2022, or 17.2% of all .au domain names. The figures were part of auDA’s latest Quarterly Report for the fourth quarter of 2022.
While on the face of it the launch of second level registrations for Australia’s ccTLD is a success, without deeper analysis it’s not possible to know how many are registered defensively and how many are actually being used. But it has quickly become the second most popular choice of registrants.
The fourth quarter ended with 4,160,209 domain names in the .au base, up 22.4% from 3,398,583 in 12 months, while there were 280,071 new domain names created, up 123% in 12 months. The total number of second level domains grew by 164,590 in the quarter while com.au actually declined by 2,985.
Of the 4,160,209 domain names there were 3,111,001 com.au domains, up 1.4% in 12 months, 218,867 net.au (up 1.2%), 74,214 (down 1.2%), 12,971 (up 0.2%), 3,090 asn.au (down 1.0%), 17,385 edu.au (up 1.7%) and 6,254 gov.au (up 2.5%).
In recent years .au has allowed registrants to choose other than a two-year renewal or registration. In the fourth quarter, 91,736 registered their domain name for one year, 42,406 for two years, 2,791 for three years, 266 for four years and 4,816 for the maximum five years.