16 April, 2018
Recently published statistics indicate the Australian domain name space grew 1.3% by the end of March 2018, compared to March 2017.
According to registry operator AusRegistry, there were 3,132,166 .AU domains at the end of last month*. Leading the pack by a huge margin were .com.au domains, of which there were 2,776,401. Next in line was .net.au at 268,936, followed by .org.au (70,639), .id.au (12,558), .asn.au (3,403), and then the CGDNs (229).
In case you haven't heard of the term before, CGDN stands for Community Geographic Domain Name. It's an Australian based website address that includes locality name and the state (e.g. townname.sa.au). The sole application for CGDNs is for operating community websites reflecting community interests. CGDNs can only be registered by community groups or a special committee of local council.
The number of active CGDNs has dropped over the last 12 months, but the extension seeing the biggest loss is .net.au. The future of .net.au isn't clear. A recent discussion paper from the auDA's** .AU Review Panel asked the question of whether the .net.au namespace should be closed to new registrations. It also asked if .asn.au should be closed or retained - that extension is used for non-commercial organisations.
The end of month report indicates there were 45 active accredited domain registrars at the end of March and one provisional registrar - figures that haven't over the last three months. The vast majority of AU domains are managed by just four registrars.
Overall, in March there were 43,381 new registrations in the .au space, quite a drop on March 2017 when 53,159 were registered (-18.39%). Registrant transfers were also lighter at 1,148 compared to 1,256 in March 2017. However, renewals were healthy, with 88,532 occurring during the month compared to 85,222 in March last year.
The full end of month report from AusRegistry can be viewed here (PDF).
* At the time of writing, there were 3,151,919 names in the AU registry.
* The auDA is the administrator of and self-regulatory policy body for all AU domains.
Curious about .AU's background? Learn more about the history of Australian domain names.
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