Why the change?

Current .au policies

Three fundamental principles underpin the .au domain name registration system: 

(1) no proprietary rights in a domain name

(2) no hierarchy of rights; and, 

(3) first come, first served. 

Guided by these principles, auDA has developed policies to facilitate its performance of the following functions:

  • licensing second-level domain registry operators;
  • accrediting and licensing registrars;
  • implementing consumer safeguards;
  • facilitating .au Dispute Resolution Policy;
  • representing .au at ICANN and other international fora; and,
  • technical management of the .au zone file.

Why we are changing?

The policies auDA uses to administer Australian domain names are currently fragmented across 33 individual policies that have been developed over nearly 20 years.

The result is a set of rules that are dated, difficult to interpret and sometimes contradictory.

This can be confusing, adds to the regulatory burden on business, and restricts growth of the .au namespace.

By 2017 auDA recognised several pressing reasons to comprehensively review its policies:

  • the Australian Government requires auDA to promote the stability, integrity and security of the Domain Name System (DNS), consumer protection, fair trading, competition and effective and efficient dispute resolution;
  • auDA needs to be able to respond rapidly to threats to the DNS and DNS abuse in a changing cyber security environment;
  • there have been changes in Australian consumer law; and
  • the .au namespace must adapt to enable the Australian digital economy and be accessible more accessible to all Australians.

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