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The Future Of .AU - PRP Final Recommendations

April 1, 2019

The auDA Board-appointed Policy Review Panel (PRP) has invited feedback on its final recommendations regarding reform of existing policies and implementation of direct registration in the .au namespace.

auDA, which stands for au Domain Administration, is the administrator and self-regulatory policy body for the .au country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD).

Recommendations from the PRP have been made on a number of issues:

The recommendations also cover the thorny issue of implementation of direct registrations; i.e. parties being able to register names directly under .au.

The PRP has recommended a registrant of a third level domain* (e.g. example.com.au) will be given first dibs to register the corresponding  name at the second level of .au (e.g. example.au) for a six-month period from the launch date of direct .au registrations, which is yet to be determined.

But what happens in a case where there are two third level domains with the same name left of the dots (e.g. example.com.au and example.net.au) - and with licenses held by two different registrants?

The PRP's recommendation is the name would be locked down from registration, pending the two parties negotiating who will get it. In the case where an agreement cannot be made, then the .au name will be reserved indefinitely. A more complete explanation is covered in the PRP's Final Report (PDF), along with discussion of other issues related to direct registration and the topics mentioned above.

Feedback on the PRP's final report closes on 12 April 2019 and will be followed by a meeting of the auDA Board on 15 April  to discuss its formal response to the PRP’s recommendations. Consultation on the proposed policies and implementation model will then run until COB Friday 10 May 2019, with the results presented to the auDA Board at its scheduled meeting on 20 May 2019. It will be at that meeting the Board will make a final decision whether to adopt.

"The PRP and auDA are confident that the proposed recommendations, and eventually the revised and consolidated policies, will reflect the extensive, robust and engaged public and targeted consultative process undertaken," states auDA. "This process has resulted in a balanced, fair and responsive policy base which ensures the security and stability of the .au domain and confirms the importance of the .au ccTLD as part of Australia’s digital economy."

*Learn more about different domain types here.

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