.au shines (in dark green) at ICANN Singapore

Posted by George Pongas, auDA Board Director and General Manager Naming Services Division, AusRegistry on 2 March 2015

I recently attended ICANN’s 52nd public meeting held at the ICANN Asia Pacific regional hub, Singapore, to represent .au on behalf of the auDA Board.

From our .au perspective, ICANN Singapore is our ‘local’ meeting, especially considering the upcoming meetings are slated for Bueno Aires, Argentina and Dublin, Ireland.

The week-long gathering in Singapore offered a chance to meet our regional and global counterparts across both country code and generic Top-Level Domains, discuss technical standards and contribute to policy discussions.

As the preeminent event on the global DNS conference calendar, it was pleasing to see .au well represented in the ICANN ecosystem and that our collective efforts in establishing the .au brand as one of the leading country codes are certainly paying dividends.

While Australia is normally associated with the symbolic green and gold colours, when it comes to ICANN and DNSSEC, we’ve now inherited a darker green shade – all in the name of increased Internet security.

auDA’s Chief Technology Officer Adam King delivered a presentation at ICANN Singapore on the signing of DNSSEC in the .au zone.

This was a proud moment for .au as it was the first time we could display to the wider DNS community that .au has now transitioned from DNSSEC testing to full operational deployment.


The global map of DNSSEC implementation has long seen Australia coloured yellow to represent our transition in testing phase. It was pleasing to hear the applause in the room when Adam unveiled our new dark green shade.

Registrar outreach
ICANN meetings offer a great opportunity to extend the reach of .au domain names through building relationships with the many Registrars in attendance.

In Singapore, I had positive discussions and fielded questions about .au accreditation with a number of representatives from international Registrars about their own .au ambitions. The feedback from Registrars was that while our .au accreditation and Information Security Standard requirements are challenging, the value of gaining access to .au is greater than the barriers it presents.

ICANN Singapore also presented the opportunity to meet in person with our non-Australian based .au accredited Registrars such as GoDaddy, Namescout and Tucows.

.au Names Panel
As you might be aware, the auDA Board established the 2015 Names Policy Panel to review and provide advice on the policy framework for domain names in the .au namespace. As part of the terms of reference, the Panel will consider opening up .au for registrations at the second-level.

I’m a member of the Names Policy Panel and ICANN Singapore offered me the chance to speak with other country code operators around the world about their experience with transitions such as this.

In particular, I had an informative discussion with Debbie Monaghan, Keith Davidson and Jay Daley from the team behind .nz, which has just opened its namespace at the second-level. I’m happy to table this feedback at our next Names Policy Panel meeting, for discussion.

Other news
The latest edition of the AusRegistry State of the .au Domain report was a hit in Singapore, with great feedback from attendees who were given a printed version.

The .au postcards we are sending out to people as follow up from meetings had in Singapore, have been well received. I’ve had some kind notes of appreciation from those ICANN attendees around the world who love their little piece of .au in the post. I know we are an online community, but it is still nice to get a personal, hand written postcard in the mail. 

au postcard