Australia’s home on the Internet, the .au domain, has created more than 4300 full-time jobs and contributed $475 million to the Australian economy last year, according to a report released today by Deloitte Access Economics.

The report, “Economic and Statistical Analysis of the .au Domain Range”, was commissioned by the .au Domain Administration (auDA) and AusRegistry. It is the first report to review .au’s economic value and impact on Australian Internet users, businesses and registrants.

The report revealed exponential growth in the number of registered domain names over the last decade, which reached a total of 2.3 million in 201l. This represents a 600% 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%, or $269 million of the total contribution to Australia’s economy. Services such as web design and infrastructure provision accounted for the balance.

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.

The full report, ‘Economic and statistical analysis of the .au domain range’, is available at www.auda.org.au

An infographic by AusRegistry is available here: www.ausregistry.com.au/research