The changes, if implemented, would be the most significant to the .au domain for 30 years and include the option to register addresses like ‘yourname.au’ without the need for ‘.com’ or ‘.org.’.
The .au Domain Administration (auDA)’s Policy Review Panel said today it will take the discussion paper on the road to public forums, with dates set for Perth, Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne.
Among the key changes being proposed are:
- Direct registration, which will allow .au domain holders an option to jettison ‘.com’ or equivalents if they choose
- Permitting the use of non-ASCII characters — such as Arabic, Cyrillic, or Chinese language characters — in .au domains
- Strengthening public interest protections, making it harder for scammers or cynical ‘squatters’ to take advantage of Internet users.
“We might not think about it often, but the .au domain range has become a vital piece of national infrastructure,” Swinson said.
“The .au domain increases trust, which can in turn facilitate positive economic and community activity. When Internet users both here and overseas see the .au domain they associate it with Australia’s secure and stable environment.
“We believe significant reforms to the .au domain, like the ones we are proposing, should be presented openly to the public for consideration. We encourage any interested Australian to come to the forums or to read and respond to the discussion paper online.”
Swinson said that although direct registration was likely to generate the most interest, other reforms, like internationalised domain names, were potentially extremely significant as well.
“We believe there is an untapped market for internationalised domain names given Australia’s multicultural community and the increasing demand for Australian products and services overseas.
“Giving Australian products the chance to be understood by their international customers in their own scripts, while simultaneously retaining the trust associated with the .au domain, could be a real boon to primary producers and other exporters.”