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Domain Name News

Another Step Towards  Direct .AU Registrations

September 13, 2019

As Australia moves closer to being able to register domain names directly under the country's .au top level domain, the namespace's registry operator has been busy with system preparation.

Early this week Afilias reported its updated Operational Test & Evaluation (OT&E) environment went live on 1st September 2019. This enables registrars to test various commands such as creates, deletes and transfers using a database populated with dummy account data. 

Afilias says registrars can also test features designed to help protect existing registrants in the six-month Priority Application Period. This relates to registrants of third level Australian domains (e.g example.com.au) having first option to register a second-level equivalent name (e.g. example.au).

Afilias says the last time it made a significant change to its testing environment relating to .au was back in March 2018. That was in preparation for the migration of millions .au domain names as the firm took on the role of registry operator. The transition, which was completed on July 1 last year, was a success.

"Ultimately, OT&E is in place to ensure that the .au namespace remains as reliable and secure as possible, operating to the same global standard that it has been since transition," states the company.

Afilias Australia Pty. Ltd. was chosen by .au Domain Administration Limited (auDA) to operate the .au registry back in 2017, officially taking over from previous operator AusRegistry on July 1, 2018. AusRegistry had been the operator since 2001. 

The Afilias operating center is located in Melbourne. The firm says it has data centers in at least two locations, and DNS servers all over Australia.

As we previously reported, registering a domain name directly under Australia's .au will be delayed for a few months. Originally it was to be implemented in the final quarter of 2019, but auDA announced the delay late in August, saying it expected launch would occur in the first half of 2020.

The enabling of direct registrations is one of the biggest changes .au has ever experienced in its 30+ year history. It's a change being eagerly anticipated by some and dreaded/criticised by others. But love it or hate it, direct registrations are pretty much a done deal, so interesting times ahead.

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