Just recently, the .au Domain Administration or auDA announced a review into how we use domain names. A number of reforms have been proposed in the discussion paper including dropping the ubiquitous “.com.” Before any changes are made, a series of public forums will be held across the country so Australians can provide feedback. Let’s take a closer look at the questions the review seeks to address.
What Are the Proposed Australian Domain Name Changes?
The auDA hopes that the following changes, which are considered to be the most “significant” in 30 years, will help boost protection for Australian internet users against scammers or domain “squatters.”
1. The removal of .com, .org, or equivalents from web addresses
Among the changes being floated by auDA is to give .au domain name holders the option to drop common TLDs (top level domain) such as .com, .org, and .net. As such, instead of having “mybusiness.com.au” as your domain name, you can simply shorten it to “mybusiness.au.”
According to John Swinson, chairman of the auDA Policy Review Panel, the .au domain range has become a vital piece of national infrastructure throughout the years.
“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.”
2. The use of non-ASCII characters
Apart from dropping the TLDs, another change proposed by the auDA is the use of non-ASCII characters like Arabic, Cyrillic, and Chinese in domain names. According to Swinson, this could pave the way for the introduction of internationalised domain names.
“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.”
3. Other proposed changes
The auDA also proposed a review of prohibited domain names and the ground rules for domain suspension. They are also looking into publishing a list of revered names that cannot be registered and sub-leasing domain names.
auDA Policy Review Panel Forums 2018
With significant reforms being proposed for the .au domain, the auDA believes that the changes should be presented to the public for their consideration. As such, the organisation is inviting all interested parties and individuals to take part in the public forums being organised by the auDA. Australians are also encouraged to read and respond to the discussion paper online. The auDA Policy Review Panel Forums will take place in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. To register or to learn more about the forum, visit the organisation’s website.
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