A new Australian domain name extension

At Webhost Media we are an authorised Australian Domain Names Registrar providing fast domain name registrations and affordable professional website development and hosting solutions. Australian businesses will soon have the opportunity to also register their business website domain names with a new Australian designated extension of .AU, meaning that your business will now be able to register e.g.; mydomainname.au complimenting your current arrangements of .com.au or .com. The registration application process has not started as yet, however, you can pre-register your details below and we will contact you once the application process begins.

Please also see below answers to the most frequently asked questions providing you with some background information to support your decision making process.

Brand Strategy

A .au compliments your overall business branding proposition.

Dynamic

.au Australian domain names show up higher in local search engine results.

Trustworthy

Having an Australian .au extension gives your business credibility and builds trust.

Background story to the .au extension

In 2016, the governing body of .au Domain Names, the .au Domain Administration (auDA), initially approved the use of second level domain names in the .au domain namespace, also known as ‘direct registration’. Earlier in 2019, auDA confirmed it would proceed and second level .au domain names were expected to be available for registration in late 2019. However, a recent announcement from .auDA advised that this will be delayed again for further public consultation, and is now likely to occur in the Q4 of 2020.

Notwithstanding this delay, brand owners and current domain name registrants should look into taking action to secure any relevant .au domain names for their businesses, and take any necessary steps to prepare for the introduction of direct registration. Pre-register your business domain name using the .au extension to safeguard your IP protection of your brand equity. Register your interest below. 

THE STORY SO FAR

WHAT IS SECOND LEVEL DOMAIN NAME REGISTRATION?

Currently, only third level domain names such as mydomain.com.au, mydomain.net.au and mydomain.org.au can be registered by individuals or business entities with an Australian presence (such as being an Australian resident or company, or the owner of an Australian word trade mark) that meet certain eligibility requirements. Existing registrants will not need to worry: the introduction of direct registrations will not affect any current registrations, and any .com/net/org,au domain name registrations will be maintained.

However, auDA has also proposed changes to domain name eligibility requirements, which will make it easier to register .au domain names. Whilst auDA currently requires registrants of .com.au and .net.au domain names to have a ‘connection’ with the chosen domain name, such as a business name registration, this is no longer a requirement for direct registration. This means that as long as the ‘Australian Presence’ requirement is satisfied, persons and entities can potentially register any .au domain name at the second level, subject to the auDA priority rules for existing registrants, and any other third party rights. By lowering the threshold, it is will be easier for both brand owners, but also unknown third parties, to acquire and maintain domain name registrations in the .au namespace.

REGISTER YOUR .AU INTEREST

The second level registration, or ‘direct’ registration, will allow Australian businesses to register a domain name immediately before the .au, allowing domain name registrations such as mydomain.au. This is a big change for the .au namespace, and brings the Australian internet community in line with other similar namespaces such as .nz and .uk and the rest of Europe.

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SAFEGUARD

INTELLECTUAL

PROPERTY

*PRE-REGISTER YOUR INTEREST .AU DOMAIN NAME

New business start-ups and  current business domain name owners should look into taking action to secure any relevant business .au domain names, and take the pre-registration steps to prepare for the introduction of direct registration coming soon. Please register your details below, and we will contact you prior to the .au launch date to finalise your registration. Disclaimer: *Pre-registering your interest does not guarantee your application is deemed to have been accepted or successful or final.  We will notify you once the official registration process starts.

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Need Help?

Frequently Asked Questions

Not all the details are available as yet, however, we have gathered some information to the most frequently asked questions,
so that you can be better informed when considering to register the .au extension when the application process starts.

  • To be eligible you must have an “Australian presence”.
  • If you already have a .au extension associated with a domain, you will have preference when registering the new .au extension associated with that domain. For example, if you already have “mydomain.com.au” or “mydomain.net.au”, you will have preference for “mydomain.au”.
  • If someone else also has an existing .au extension associated with the same domain as you, then there is a chance of a conflict. An example of this would be if you have “mydomainname.com.au” and someone else has “mydomainname.net.au”.
  • If there is no conflict, you will be able to register your new .au as soon as the application process opens.
  • If there is a chance of a conflict, anyone eligible for a new .au will have 6-months to register their interest from when the application period opens.
  • auDA, the governing body for Australian domain names, has not confirmed the actual date as yet, however, it looks likely to be later this year 2020. As soon as the date is confirmed, we will publish the details on this website. 

Prices will be determined by each domain name Registrar. A Registrar is a business that handles the reservations of domain names and the assignment of IP addresses for those domain names.  At Webhost Media we can of course provide you with more information once the .au is launched. 

If two or more eligible people apply to register for the same new .au, there will be a conflict. auDA, the governing body for .au domain names is finalising the conflict resolution process, but it looks likely that the two contesting parties will negotiate directly with each other to find the best resolution.

At Webhost Media as a registrar we will most likely notify you to let you know if there is a chance of a conflict.

It is possible that there will be further changes to the proposed scheme following the results of the additional consultation period. In the meantime, Webhost Media can provide further guidance or assistance on how to prepare for the introduction of .au direct registration. 

Existing registrants will not need to worry: the introduction of direct .au registrations will not affect any current registrations, and any .com/net/org,au domain name registrations will be maintained.

auDA has proposed changes to domain name eligibility requirements, which will make it easier to register .au domain names. Whilst auDA currently requires registrants of .com.au and .net.au domain names to have a ‘connection’ with the chosen domain name, such as a business name registration, this is no longer a requirement for direct registration. This means that as long as the ‘Australian Presence’ requirement is satisfied, persons and entities can potentially register any .au domain name at the second level, subject to the auDA priority rules for existing registrants, and any other third party rights. By lowering the threshold, it is will be easier for both brand owners, but also unknown third parties, to acquire and maintain domain name registrations in the .au namespace.

By being any one of the following:

  • A Sole Trader, Partnership, Company, Charity, Association or Trust with a current ABN or ACN.
  • A permanent Australian resident or citizen.
  • You are a foreign business with an Australian trademark application or registration.

By providing any one of the following:

  • Australian Driver’s License.
  • Australian Passport.
  • Australian Citizenship Certificate.
  • Australian Business Number (ABN).
  • Australian Company Number (ACN).
  • Australian Trademark Application or Registration.

auDA, the governing body for .au domain names, defines the eligibility rules. More information on auDA can be found at auda.org.au. At Webhost Media we will update this website with the latest news on the eligibility rules soon.

“myname.com.au” is the domain name, “myname” is the domain and “.com.au” is the domain extension.

.com.au, .net.au, .org.au, asn.au, .id.au are the main domain extensions, but there are also domains available to government, educational and religious organisations like gov.au and edu. au, .nsw.gov.au, .vic.edu.au, catholic.edu.au etc.

There is an opportunity for domain names assigned a ‘Priority Status’, as per the following: 

  • Category 1: Where the registered domain name (e.g. example.com.au) was created before the cut-off date, proposed to be 4 February 2018;
  • Category 2: Where the registered domain name was created between the cut-off date and prior to the commencement date; and
  • General Availability: Where there is no registered domain name prior to the commencement date, these will be available from the commencement date on a first come, first served basis.

Applications for ‘Priority Status’ are required to be made to an accredited domain name registrar (such as Webhost Media) within 180 days of the commencement of the rules (the date has not yet been announced). Once a registrant files an application for ‘Priority Status’, they will not be able to update the registrant information or transfer the domain name during this period.

Whilst waiting for further announcements from auDA, brand owners should review their current domain name registrations, and also consider registering any relevant .com.au and .net.au domain names to have the option of applying for Priority Status (noting this will be Category 2 under the current suggested cut-off date). We recommend brand owners consider applying for Priority Status if available, and prepare to register any .au domain names, if only to prevent unknown third parties from securing potentially relevant domain names for key brands. Pre-register your business domain name using the .au extension to safeguard your IP protection of your brand equity. Register your interest with Webhost Media, above. 

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