Australians will soon have more choice when choosing domain names after auDA announced a .au direct namespace will be available from March 24, 2022.
The introduction of the .au namespace will bring Australia in line with countries that already have Top Level Domains, including the United Kingdom (.uk), Canada (.ca), the USA (.us) and New Zealand and should provide the following benefits:
- A wider choice of domain names available in the .au domain space
- Shorter and more easier to remember domain names
- Domain names that are easier to type and that display better on mobile devices
The .au direct names will be available for all Australian internet users, including individuals, businesses, associations and government entities from auDA accredited registrars and subject to auDA’s licencing rules.
As an example of how the .au direct namespace might be used, if you were trying to register a domain name for your business name “Oranges,” instead of registering your domain name as Oranges.com.au, you might choose to register it as Oranges.au.
If you already hold another kind of .au domain name licence, you won’t need to worry about your equivalent domain name being registered by someone else as a .au direct, as long as you make use of the Priority Allocation Process.
Under this process, exact matches of all names in the Australian registry will be automatically reserved for a period of six months, in which time you can apply for Priority Status through an accredited registrar for the .au direct domain version.
However, it’s worth noting that in some special cases there may be multiple applications for Priority Status for the same .au direct name – for example, where one registrant holds the domain name oranges.org.au and the other registrant holds oranges.com.au. When this happens, priority for allocation will be determined by:
- The creation date of each applicant’s domain name licence; and,
- The priority cut-off date, as outlined in auDA’s Priority Allocation Process, with the highest priority given to domain names registered before this date.
After six months, any domain names that correspond with other .au names that haven’t been applied for under the Priority Allocation Process will be made available to the general public.
The .au direct release won’t have any effect on any existing names in the .au domain space, such as .net.au, .edu.au, .gov.au and .org.au domains, which will continue to operate as normal.