This piece was first published in edition 8 of Behind the Dot: State of the .au Domain. To read more, download the magazine now.

In your opinion, what do you think has been one of the most significant milestones for the .au namespace and why?

Jacqui Lefevre – Managing Director; Domain Registration Services

The introduction of auDA’s Domain Name Eligibility and Allocation Policy Rules for Open second-level domains, which came into force on 1 July, 2002.

Prior to auDA’s policy, .au domain name licenses were restricted to one per entity and a “derivation” rule existed whereby an applicant’s proposed domain name had to derive from their registered business or company name in sequential order from left to right. This was not only awkward but also quite prohibitive with regards to potential domain name variations.

The new allocation policy made a world of difference in allowing registrants to hold multiple domain name licenses. It also provided for broader choices in that a .au domain name could now be an exact match, abbreviation or acronym of the registrant’s name or otherwise closely and substantially connected to the registrant.

This freeing up of restrictions was widely welcomed as it provided registrants with additional options whilst still retaining the integrity of the .au domain name space.

Luke Richards – Head of Account Management, Australia; NetNames

The most significant milestone for the .au namespace is definitely the deregulation of the industry and introduction of the competitive model in 2002. Registrants today are now blessed with more choice, which never would have occurred to the level it does today had the doors to competition not been opened back then.

Angelo Giuffrida – Chief Executive Officer; VentraIP Australia

There have been a couple of notable milestones for the .au namespace over the past few years but the ones that stand out to me most are the introduction of the Information Security Standard (ISS) for accredited Registrars, auDA’s clarification on auto-renewal, and most importantly the auDA Board’s decision to accept the 2015 Names Policy Panel’s recommendation of direct registrations in .au.

The introduction of auDA’s ISS standard has strengthened the reputation of the .au namespace in the way that it provides Registrants with peace of mind in knowing their Registrar of choice is operating under important security minimums and standards, whilst auDA’s clarification on auto-renewal for .au domain names has provided a consistent experience for all .au domain name holders irrespective of their Registrar of choosing, encouraging further competition and removing all stigma and grey area surrounding auto-renewals.

Most importantly though, the decision by the auDA Board to accept the recommendation of direct registrations in .au will allow our niche – but vital – ccTLD to fairly compete against both gTLD and newTLD domain names alike when being considered as the primary domain name for new businesses starting in or entering the Australian market. This will not only propel .au into the future but also cement the importance of .au domain names to Australians in the global domain name marketplace.

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