The .au Domain Administration (auDA), the body responsible for the .au top-level domain, has announced following recommendations of the 2015 names policy panel that it will introduce .au direct registrations, such as domainname.au.
Last August, the names policy panel released draft recommendations calling to allow Australian businesses and individuals to directly register domains in .au, which would mean domain names will sit directly under .au top-level domain.
At the time, Derek Whitehead, auDA panel chair and adjunct professor at Swinburne University of Technology, said the main reason behind the panel's push for change was because they believe it would create more options.
"They include names that are shorter, more appealing, and more memorable. They would make the domain name system simpler and easier to use," he said.
On Monday, auDA released a statement saying it agrees with the majority of views expressed by the panel. It highlighted some of the benefits of this outcome include that by making shorter domain names available it's more appealing and memorable; it will give Australians more choice in deciding what domain name to register; it's a response to market demand; it's more attractive to the current option .id.au; it will strengthen the .au brand in a globally competitive market; and it will add value for registrars, resellers, registrants, and ultimately users of the .au domain name system.
While auDA said it will make further announcements during the year on the progress of implementation, it will now undertake a policy development process, consulting stakeholders to determine the best approach to implement .au direct registrations. The auDA said it will also take into account the impact it will have on existing registrants and how it will maintain the stability of the .au DNS.
Under current rules, domains have to sit under a second-level domain such as .com.au, .net.au, or id.au, and will still remain in place even with the .au direct registrations. Existing rules that require the registering party to be an Australian individual or business will also remain in place.