There’s plenty of dysfunction at auDA, the .au policy and regulatory body, but one thing they’ve been pushing ahead with is second level .au registrations. At the auDA board meeting on 20 May, 3 years and one month after the Board originally approved second level registrations, the Board agreed to push ahead with their implementation, commencing in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Currently registrants of domain names in Australia’s country code top level domain (ccTLD) get to choose, depending on their eligibility, third level domain names such as .com.au, .net.au, .org.au, id.au and .asn.au as well as state and territory namespaces. Registrants of .au domain names currently have to be registered businesses within Australia except for .id.au which is for Australian individuals.
According to an announcement today (31 May), under the implementation rules all existing .au registrants will be able to apply for priority status to register the exact match of their existing third level .au domain name at the second level. For example, the registrant of name.com.au will be able to apply for priority to register name.au.
More information of the priority allocation system can be found in the Implementation Rules here [pdf] while auDA says more information about second level registrations will be released in the coming weeks. However Australian individuals and businesses will be able to register second level domains.
According to the Implementation Rules, from 1 October 2019 to 1 April 2020, priority will be given to registrants that have registered their domain names before a cut-off date will have first priority to their corresponding second level domain, while registrants that have registered their .au domain name after the cut-off date and before commencement will be classified as category 2. If there are no applications for domain names in category 1, category 2 registrants will be next in line. Any remaining domain names will then be made available on a first come, first served basis. The cut-off date doesn’t appear to have been determined at the time of writing.
There will be a review of the .au Implementation Rules at 12 months, 18 months, 24 months and 30 months after the commencement date.