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.