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Panel Proposes Registrations Directly Under .AU

August 24, 2015

The 2015 Names Policy Panel has released its draft recommendations - and one in particular will create a good deal of debate.

The administrator of the .AU domain space, auDA, established the Panel to review major Australian domain name policies.

The Panel has proposed Australians should be allowed to register domain names directly under .au; something not currently possible.

"The main reason the Panel has recommended this change is that direct registrations would create more options. They include names that are shorter, more appealing and more memorable," said Derek Whitehead,  the Panel Chair. "They would make the domain name system simpler and easier to use."

The Panel proposes direct registrations be available alongside current domain options such as

The idea of direct registration had been rejected on multiple occasions in the past. The motivators for the change of heart include .UK, .NZ and others opening up direct registrations to the public and competition from the myriad new gTLD's introduced since 2013.

A yes/no count of submissions on a related comment paper and surveys showed 63% in favour of direct registrations - however, many of those in favour also had qualifiers; such as current registrants of other .AU 2LDs being given priority to the equivalent .au name.

Other changes proposed by the Panel include changing the .AU registration period from 2 years to 1 - 5 years, updating the policy relating to business names and while maintaining the policy of misspellings; allowing some more flexibility.

The Panel stresses all recommendations are draft - the Panel will consider comments it receives on the proposals.

The 2015 Names Policy Draft Recommendations can be viewed here (PDF). Details for submitting comments can be found here. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday 30 September 2015.

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