auDA Announces Updates on Second Level Registrations

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Second level .au registrations are coming later this year and last week auDA, the .au policy and regulatory body, announced the cut-off dates determining which priority category an existing third level .au domain name is assigned to.

Following a Board meeting last week, it was resolved that .au domain names registered on or before 4 February 2018 are assigned to priority category 1 while those registered after 4 February 2018 are assigned to priority category 2.

The draft rules are available here [pdf].

The priority category is relevant to the priority application process for registrants of existing third level .au domain names and can help determine who gets to register the exact match at the second level where there are competing applications for a given name. auDA will reserve all domain names in the Registry Data, where a licence has a creation date that fits within these categories. A domain name allocated to Category 1 will default to Category 2 if no applications for that domain name in Category 1 are received before the end of the Application period.

Wholesale fees, the fees charged by the registry to registrars, will be the same for second level domains and existing third level domain names.

As they advised previously, auDA is still expecting the implementation of second level domain names to commence in the fourth quarter of 2019.

The Board also approved updated .au licensing rules [pdf] subject to receiving further advice from the Australian Government on clause 2.17 dealing with a “public interest test” that would give the CEO the ability to “suspend or cancel a licence or take any necessary action, when it is in the public interest.”

Public interest is defined as covering 9 issues including national security, consumer protection, economic wellbeing of Australia, complying with Australia’s obligations under international law and the integrity, stability or security of the Domain Name System.