Before September 20, 2022, individuals and organizations with existing Australian domain names should consider making a priority request through the registrar that manages their current domain name to obtain the corresponding direct .au domain for their com.au, net.au or existing org. to the domain.
After the priority period expires, any third party will be able to register a similar or identical domain name in the new .au domain format.
How was the .au namespace used before?
The .au namespace is the country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Australia. Domain names ending in .au signal to website users that the person or organization hosting the domain has a connection to Australia. Examples in other countries include .uk for the UK, .jp for Japan, and .tv for Tuvalu.
Limited .au domain administration (auDA) is an organization approved by the Australian Government to develop and administer the rules for domain names in the ccTLD .au. Each of the existing .au namespaces is used for defined industries and purposes in Australia, and has license rules for whom can register them, for example:
- “com.au” and “net.au” are for commercial entities only;
- “org.au” is for charities and not-for-profit organizations only;
- “edu.au” is for registered educational institutions only;
- “gov.au” is for Commonwealth, State, Territory and local government agencies only;
- “asn.au” is for incorporated associations, political parties, trade unions, sports clubs and special interest clubs only;
- “id.au” is reserved for individuals who are citizens or residents;
- “csiro.au” is solely for the exclusive use of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO).
Each State and Territory also has its own namespace available for community groups where a geographical name is registered, for example, ‘bathhurst.nsw.au’ and ‘ballarat.vic.au’.
All namespaces other than edu.au, gov.au and csiro.au are “open” in the sense that members of the public can register domain names in this space provided they are eligible under the rules. applicable license.
Direct .au domain names are now available
On March 24, 2022, the new Australian direct domain .au was launched by auDA. This opened the registration of direct domain names using only “.au”.
The new direct .au domain names are shorter, easier to remember and easier to type on mobile devices. Direct .au domain names are also intended for general use (without many of the stricter limitations of previous auDA licensing rules) – they are available to anyone with a verified Australian presence. For example, www.claytonutz.com.au is now open for registration as www.claytonutz.au.
What should registrants of existing .au domain names know?
There is a mechanism in place whereby licensees of existing .au domain names (i.e. registrants of com.au, net.au or org.au domain names) created before March 24 2022 can apply for priority status to register corresponding domain names in the new .au domain format.
Registrants should note that such a priority request must be do it or before September 20, 2022 (for Australians, 9:59 a.m. AEST on September 21, 2022).
We recommend that interested parties consider making the priority request as soon as possible as there may be multiple holders of a domain name – for example, you might hold the domain com.au but someone other owns the corresponding net.au domain. In those cases where it is not clear who will be eligible for the .au domain, the auDA has a Priority Status Tool you can use.
Requests for priority status can be made through your existing auDA-accredited registrars. Fees vary by registrar.
After the September 20, 2022 deadline, all remaining .au domain names will be available for public registration (subject to certain requirements) on October 3, 2022.
Even if individuals and organizations do not wish to actively use the direct .au domain name, they should still consider making a priority request to prevent others from registering similar or identical domain names in the new format. domain name .au. Adopting this type of “defensive” domain name strategy involves some upfront cost, but means you can prevent others from using domain names that could harm your business in the future.
If you do not make a priority request within the time specified, you will have to follow the usual auDA complaint handling process or the .au dispute resolution process, which can be time consuming and significantly more expensive.
Existing .au domain names will not be affected and will continue to work if you decide not to make a priority request, provided your registration is up to date.
If you need help applying for a direct .au domain name or have questions about the new direct .au domain, please contact us.