Tag Archives: .au

AuDA Seeks Comments on .AU Accountability and Transparency Framework

AuDA, the .AU policy and regulatory body, is seeking public comment on a draft Accountability and Transparency Framework from members, stakeholders and other interested parties.

In April 2011 the auDA Board commissioned Westlake Consulting Ltd (WCL) to conduct an independent review into the governance of .AU. WCL provided its final report to the Board in December 2011, and the Board published its response in February 2012.

One of WCL’s recommendations was for auDA to “develop and publish an Accountability and Transparency Framework, broadly similar to that developed by ICANN.” The Board accepted the recommendation and charged its Governance, Board Succession and Remuneration Committee to oversee the implementation.

The Committee has approved a draft Accountability and Transparency Framework for public consultation.

The closing date for comments is 31 July 2012.

auDA industry panel proposes “world-first” security standard – seeks community views

The.au Domain Administration (auDA) 2012 Industry Advisory Panel has today proposed the introduction of a mandatory security standard for all existing and potential registrars in the .au domain space, a “world first” requirement.
The Panel has been tasked by the auDA Board to review the structure and regulation of the Australian domain name industry. The Panel is comprised of a range of industry stakeholders, and is part of the open and consultative mechanisms auDA uses to develop and refine policies for .au.

The Panel is considering the adoption of an auDA Information Security Standard (ISS) aimed at helping registrars to manage and improve the security of their businesses, as well as protecting the stability and integrity of the .au domain space.

The proposal is contained in a public Issues Paper, the first of two rounds of public consultation to be undertaken by the Panel.

The Panel is also considering:

  • The best method for selecting and appointing a registry operator prior to the expiry of the current contract with AusRegistry Pty Ltd on 30 June 2014;
  • The accreditation of registrars, particularly with respect to overseas-based registrars; and
  • The status of resellers in .au and the possibility of permitting bulk reseller transfers and the listing of resellers in WHOIS.

”The Panel is reviewing a wide range of important issues and policies relating to the operation of Australia’s ‘.au’ namespace”, said the Panel’s independent Chair, Craig Ng.

“Our recommendations need to reinforce and promote .au’s positive reputation, ensure certainty of service provision and a level playing field for all industry participants and deliver the best value and protection for consumers. To help us do that, we need to receive as much community feedback as possible on what the future of the Australian domain name industry may look like.”

The Panel’s Issues Paper is available at this website. The closing date for submissions is Friday 20 July 2012.

This auDA announcement was sourced from:

Australia’s .AU Contributes $475m Per Year And 4300 Jobs To Economy

Australia’s .AU country code Top Level Domain is responsible for more than 4300 full time jobs and contributed $475 million to the Australian economy a report by Deloitte Access Economics has found.

The report, Economic and Statistical Analysis of the .au Domain Range [available as a PDF here and here], was commissioned by the .AU registry, AusRegistry, and the .AU regulator, auDA, and is the first to examine the economic value and impact of the .AU ccTLD on Australian Internet users, businesses and registrants.

The report revealed exponential growth in the number of registered .AU domain names over the last decade, which reached a total of 2.3 million in 2011. This represents a 600 per cent increase since 2002, with 60,000 new .AU domains being registered every month.

Activity directly associated with registration and hosting of .AU domains accounted for 57 per cent, or $269 million, of the total contribution to Australia’s economy. Services such as web design and infrastructure provision accounted for the balance.

Additionally, the report found that 58 per cent of the total economic contribution of $475 million for .AU domain name registration and operation accrued to employees, indicating an overall relatively labour-intensive industry.

The report echoes a similar report for the Austrian registry, nic.at, in 2011 that found the .AT domain names contributed €13.5 million (around A$16.6m today) to the Austrian economy in 2009, with the contribution growing each year. The study found that for every €1 spent on .AT domain names €3.10 was added to the Austrian economy. When additional services were factored in this figure grew to €14.89.

Benefits of .AU were also spread around the country even if registrants of .AU domain names are focused around the major population centres at a greater than proportional rate with 80 per cent of .AU registrations registered in major cities, compared to only 68 per cent of the total population residing in these major cities.

But the benefits are not confined to major centres. When the number of .AU registrations are compared against the number of businesses by region, the density of domain names is highest for businesses in very remote Australia, with 0.67 registrations per business. The report suggests this may be indicative of the fact that these businesses are more reliant on communications technology in their operations.

The report notes this is a somewhat surprising result with typical rates of connection to the internet are lower in very remote Australia, which reflects the overall lower access to quality internet services in these regions.

The report also identifies a number of changes that may influence future growth in registrations. These include the introduction of new TLDs as well as internationalised domain names, the increasing importance of search engines for internet users seeking information and the role of social media and group buying websites in influencing consumer purchase decisions.

When looking at businesses with a web presence, which includes all domain names – not just businesses with .AU registrations, the report found the arts and recreation services was the sector with the highest proportion of businesses with a web presence, and hence domain name, with around two-thirds of businesses. Other sectors with more than half of businesses online were professional, scientific and technical services, financial and insurance services, rental, hiring and real estate services, wholesale trade and manufacturing. Overall, 40 per cent of Australian businesses reported having a web presence in 2009-10.

At the other end of the scale web presence remains very low among agriculture, forestry and fishing businesses at just 11 per cent, and in the transport, postal and warehousing sector, at 22 per cent.

Ric Simes, Deloitte Access Economics Director, said the report confirmed the value to the Australian economy of the .au domain and the importance of a web presence for businesses.

“The Internet has clearly become the starting point for consumer research and purchasing decisions,” he said. “The contribution to the Australian economy of the industry administering .au is significant, particularly in terms of employment, and this will continue to grow with the ongoing shift to e-commerce.”

Chris Disspain, CEO of auDA, attributed the health of .AU to its policy environment and the trust this engenders in Australian users.

“.AU is a vibrant marketplace, with over 30 registrars competing on price and services. But beyond this, the safeguards we have in place to protect both Australian businesses and end users, make .AU a signpost of trust and security online,” Mr Disspain said.

Adrian Kinderis, CEO of AusRegistry, said Australian business owners continue to place significant value in .AU names.

“We are continually developing the .au namespace to increase its profile, promote its benefits and drive greater registration volumes. These actions have created a strong appetite within the Australian business community, resulting in .AU evolving into the domain name of choice for Australian business. The findings of this report highlight the importance of .AU to the Australian economy and celebrate the combined efforts of auDA and AusRegistry,” Mr Kinderis said.

To register your .AU domain name, check out Asia Registry here.

.AU Record Domain Sale Confirmed

A new Australian domain name record was set today when InvestmentProperty.com.au was sold by Netfleet for A$125,001 +GST ($137,500).

The sale of InvestmentProperty.com.au came about after it expired and by far exceeds the previous record for expired domains of $33,000 when one of Australia’s largest retailers, Woolworths, bought hardware.com.au after rival Bunnings, owned by Wesfarmers, accidentally let it expire late last year.

It also easily beats the official record for .AU domain sales which was poker.com.au which sold for $100,000 earlier this year. This was equalled when Deals.com.au also fetched $100,000 a few months later.

While not big compared to international sales this year where social.com, which sold for $2.6m, tops the Domain Name Journal year-to-date list of reported sales, it is significant given trading in domain names has only been in existence for a few years.

Including GST, the sale would come in at 26th place on Domain Name Journal’s list of year-to-date reported sales and the second-biggest ccTLD sale of the year behind aktien.de, which sold for €500,000 (US$725,000) and just ahead of beds.co.uk (£80,000 or US$130,400).

Australian Supermodel Victim Of Cybersquatting

The Australian supermodel Miranda Kerr has become a victim of cybersquatting following the registration of the domain name mirandakerr.com.au earlier this year by a company that was not connected with the model.The domain name was registered by domainer James Webster, a Sydney-based entrepreneur who owns about 6500 domains.”I speculate and try to look for anything that can make my company more valuable today, and heaps more valuable in the future,” he told the Sunday Mail.He claimed the domain name could have been worth up to $200,000 and that if he did not register the domain he “knew that a ‘domainer’ would use it for some ill-gotten gain”. And he also claims to have contacted the model’s representatives offering to transfer the domain name to them for free.However Webster fell afoul of registration policies for .AU domains where registering a domain name for the sole purpose of resale or transfer to another entity is not permitted.AuDA investigated the registration of mirandakerr.com.au and decided to cancel the current registrant’s domain name licence for breach of policy, and the domain name will be deleted.”The purpose of the rule against resale is to prevent people from ‘cybersquatting’ the names of well-known people and brands,” said Chris Disspain, CEO of auDA.”The rule has been in place since auDA assumed control of the .au namespace in 2002, and it has been affirmed in every public policy review that auDA has conducted since then. The Australian Internet community has made it clear, time and time again, that it values the high levels of trust and integrity that distinguish .au from other TLDs like .com.”

AuDA Announces Changes To .AU Aftermarket

Following a review of the .AU secondary market, the .AU policy and regulatory body, auDA, has announced a number of changes to the aftermarket, or secondary market, down under.The changes come about following recommendations from the Secondary Market Working Group and the changes are that auDA should:

  • mandate a registrant transfer process, along the lines of the registrar transfer process; and
  • publish information for registrants about the registrant transfer process, including the fact that they can choose to transfer their domain name to another registrar prior to processing a change of registrant.
  • The six month prohibition on registrant transfers should be removed.
  • auDA should provide more information to the public about drop catching services, including clearly identifying the registrars that provide these services.
  • AusRegistry should clarify its process for changing the Registry Usage Policy, including timing of changes and communications with registrars.

Further, that auDA should publish a policy which:

  • clarifies that connection sharing between related registrars requires auDA’s prior written consent; and
  • specifically prohibits connection sharing between unrelated registrars.
  • AusRegistry should publish a document that provides general information about drop catching to all registrars.

The changes will be implemented in coming months alongside recommendations from the 2010 Names Policy Panel.Writing on the changes, Australian law firm Cooper Mills Lawyers noted “the most noteworthy change was the removal of the restriction on the resale of domain names. This policy was seen to be inconsistent and illogical by many industry players. The restrictions did not apply to domain names transferred but only on new registrations.”Some industry observers say that this decision effectively removes restrictions on the trading of domain names, and brings Australia into line with almost every other jurisdiction around the world.”Other changes included the provision of more information to consumer and registrants about domain name transfers and domain name drop services.”

Reliability, Stability, Trustworthiness: Three Key TLD Features Of A TLD

Reliability, stability, trustworthiness are three of the most important features of a TLD, and one of the main messages that auDA, the policy and regulatory body for .AU, has been striving to convey writes Chris Disspain, auDA CEO and these days also ICANN board member.”In fact, I’m pretty sure we have been banging on about the importance of trust ever since auDA was established and assumed responsibility for the operation of .AU,” writes Disspain.”The relevance of this message has been highlighted by recent developments that have negatively affected thousands of British companies” where there have been “legal and administrative battles surrounding the operation of ‘gb.com’, which offers third-level registrations as an alternative to .co.uk.”With the downtime that ensued from the .gb.com outage, Disspain writes “what the recent events surrounding gb.com do highlight is the types of added risks registrants expose themselves to by choosing to register in a space that is selling third level domains on a commercial basis as opposed to in a well-regulated domain with well-defined policy frameworks.”Another third level domain to launch as an alternative to the country code in recent days is com.de, promoted as an alternative to .DE. .DE and .UK are the two largest ccTLDs.A problem that can arise is if the business selling the third level domains goes out of business – you lose your domain name. “All of the marketing and promotional efforts you have made go down the drain and your business may follow soon after.””In contrast, registrants in a regulated space such as .com.au are afforded certain protections in the unlikely event of registrar failure and can recover their name and livelihood with the assistance of auDA and whichever registrar they choose to switch to.”Also, .AU has mechanisms built-in to deal with circumstances where you might find your business, trademark or other intellectual property rights infringed upon by a com.au registrant.”Disspain then writes that “another advantage of operating your business in a well-run domain is that doing so can resolve issues of confusion and trust for your most important stakeholders – your customers.”In conclusion Disspain writes, “all of these arguments tie back to one main issue – and the main motivation for this post – the importance of trust. Trust in the domain space you register in, trust in the security and stability of your commercial investment, and the trust your customers will have in your operations and the protection of their rights. All of these are vital drivers of success in the bricks-and-mortar world of business – and just as important online.”To read this full article by Chris Disspain, auDA CEO and as of June 2011 ICANN board member, go to:

.AU Celebrates 25th Birthday Looking Back To King Tut

The Australian ccTLD .AU turned 25 last week just three months after it reached the two million registrations landmark.The 25th birthday was celebrated at the Melbourne Museum where a presentation was given on the role of technology in ancient civilization as well as a tour of King Tutankhamun’s exhibition, currently exhibiting at the museum after showing in the United States and Europe..AU has grown rapidly in recently years, like many Top Level Domains, and auDA, the .AU policy and regulatory body, claims it is the largest regulated name space per capita. While .NL (Netherlands) has the highest number of registrations per capita with almost 4.5 million registrations for over 16.8 million people, it is a largely unregulated name space with few restrictions on who can register a domain name.In Australia, registrations are restricted to businesses or people with an Australian connection and the most popular second level domain, com.au, requires the registrant to be a registered business.Even with these restrictions .AU has grown to 2.05 million registrations as of April for a population of 21.8 million people putting it in the top 20 ccTLDs. According to Verisign’s latest Domain Name Industry Brief for quarter one 2011, .AU was one of only seven ccTLDs in the top 20 to achieve four per cent quarter over quarter growth and one of only two, along with Canada’s .CA, to exceed 20 per cent year over year growth.The top five ccTLDs are Germany (.DE), currently with 14.4 million registrations, United Kingdom (.UK – 9.4m), .Netherlands (4.5m), European Union (.EU – 3.3m) while China (.CN – 3.4m, Feb 2011) and .RU (Russian Federation – 3.3m) battling it out for fifth place.The largest TLD is .COM with around 98 million registrations.To register your .AU domain name, check out Asia Registry here.

Two Million .AU Domains Registered

In the last 24 hours, the Australian ccTLD passed the two million base registrations landmark, the registry announced overnight Australian time.

.AU has been growing quickly in recent years following gradual relaxation of registration requirements. Originally a company name had to have a domain name that exactly matched, however as the market has matured, so have registrations requirements changed.

In 2002 au Domain Administration (auDA) introduced a new registry model with AusRegistry winning the tender to operate the registry. Back then there were 275,000 .AU domain names registered and .AU domains were commonly viewed as expensive and highly regulated.

With the relaxation has seen a steady increase in registrations, and .AU is one of the fastest growing ccTLDs according to VeriSign’s Domain Name Industry Brief. In their latest report, VeriSign notes that among the 20 largest ccTLDs .AU, along with .PL (Poland), .CA (Canada), and .CH (Switzerland) were the only four that exceeded four per cent quarter-over-quarter growth.

.AU and .PL also joined the .RU (Russian Federation) and the .US (United States) as top 20 ccTLDs exceeding 20 per cent year-over-year growth.

Of the top TLDs, .COM has the most registrations with around 93 million registrations. Following are .DE (Germany 14.24m) and .NET (approximately 12m) while .UK (United Kingdom) has 9.19 million registrations with a similar number for .ORG. There are over 205 million domain names registered globally across all TLDs VeriSign announced in their Domain Name Industry Brief as of the end of last December.

The original rules for .AU were originally written by Melbourne University academic Robert Elz who later passed on .AU management to a university company that later became Melbourne IT. Today the registry is managed by AusRegistry.

To register your .AU domain name, check out Asia Registry here.

Poker.com.au Sells For $100,00, But Government Gambling Restrictions Hold Back Price

Poker.com.au became one of the biggest sales of a .AU domain name this week when it sold for $100,000. However the price was held back by government restrictions on the advertising of interactive gambling services in Australia, David Lye from NetFleet told Smart Company.

“There is a Canadian equivalent, Poker.ca, that sold for $400,000 last year. Now, Canada has one-and-a-half times the population of Australia and that site commanded a price much, much higher,” Lye told Smart Company.

“One of the aspects involved in all of this is the legislation, and the legislation specifically prohibits the advertising of online interactive gambling. In theory, you cannot have an Australian website advertising these interactive gaming services, and the fines are large.”

To read this Smart Company report in full, click here.