Launching “.au Direct”
Australia’s domain name manager auDA (.au Domain Administration) today launched the direct registration of .au domain names.
Until now, Australians have only been able to register domain names below one of the official second-level domains: .com.au, .net.au, .org.au, .asn.au or .id.au (.gov.au, .edu.au and .csiro.au are reserved). This has now changed because auDA opened-up registrations directly under .au at 1pm today.
I have long opposed this idea.
Aside from undermining the existing hierarchy of domains, the new direct registrations will set-up conflicts between existing domain name holders who want a matching direct .au registration and will now have to undergo a “priority implementation” process.
For instance, if I want to register the matching version of my existing domain adonline.id.au as adonline.au, I will have to contest this with Fairfax Media no less (who have both adonline.com.au and adonline.net.au registered in their names). It could be worse; the Australian Broadcasting Corporation owns abc.net.au, abc.com.au and abc.gov.au, but abc.id.au is owned by Alistair Benjamin Cook, abc.edu.au by the Australian Institute of Business and Management and abc.org.au by the Australian Conference Association Ltd. All of these parties have a right to get abc.au. (auDA has a tool to check the Priority Status of an Australian domain).
Furthermore, for reasons unknown, newly registered domain names will not resolve until the DNS for each domain is manually added to the registry by Afilias. Afilias is performing these actions once a day, Tuesday to Friday each week, which means new domain registrations could have to wait several days before their DNS records become active on the domain name.
It’s a mess, and an unnecessary one at that.
It’s been almost twenty years since I registered adonline.id.au and I have to say that after all that time, I still get odd looks when I quote my email address as “@adonline.id.au” to businesses. I can’t wait to see how people in the mainstream respond when the familiar .com.au is missing.
The .au domain is held in very high regard by consumers and I am concerned that this change in policy by auDA will diminish that, which will hurt us all. Business has been opposed as have many individuals, but auDA have pushed on regardless.
It remains to be seen whether I can obtain adonline.au. I did manage to get adamdimech.au.