June start for .au geographic domain ballots

The Australian domain names regulator has announced it will kick off the ballots for new geographic domain names in .net.

The Australian domain names regulator has announced it will kick off the ballots for new geographic domain names in .net.au and .com.au from next month.

Under current policy the names are not available on the market, but .au Domain Administration (auDA) said in March this year it would be making the names available in bundles. For instance, williamstownnorth.com.au will be bundled with williamstown-north.com.au and other variants

Applicants for the names will apply -- facing the normal criteria -- and be part of a random selection process for each name bundle. Where only one applicant applies for a bundle that applicant will automatically be granted it.

Due to the extraordinary nature of the sale, auDA is charging a one-off release fee of AU$825 for each bundle, which it will use to fund a separate organisation to oversee auDA's 2002 decision to introduce a special domain name for each local geographically-based community in Australia.