auDA Approves Changes to Domain Name Policy

Posted by Jo Lim on 9 May 2001

The auDA Board has approved the final recommendations of its Name Policy Advisory Panel, clearing the way for significant changes to the Australian domain name system (DNS).

At a meeting held on 8 May 2001, the Board accepted the Panel's report in full. This means that there will be a number of changes to domain name policy, including:

  • no limit on the number of domain names per entity;
  • a renewal period for all domain names;
  • inclusion of trade marks as eligibility criteria for a domain name;
  • a close and substantial connection between a domain name and its licensee;
  • creation of a 'reserved list' for domain names that may not be licensed.

The Board re-affirmed the current policy, that domain names be allocated on a 'first come, first served' basis.

The Board also considered that, in principle, the prohibition on generic domain names in the domain should be removed. auDA will undertake further work in order to determine a suitable method of allocating generic domain names.

The issue of geographic domain names will be considered by the Board after the Panel reports on the possible creation of new second level domains (2LDs).

"auDA commends the Panel, in particular Panel Chair Derek Whitehead, for producing a coherent set of recommendations that reflects the views of many different interests," said auDA CEO, Chris Disspain.

"auDA is confident that the changes will make it easier for Australians to license domain names in the .au domain. The new policy rules will also provide a greater degree of consistency and predictability in the allocation of .au domain names."

auDA is now working on an implementation strategy. Changes to domain name policy will not take effect until the second half of 2001, in conjunction with the introduction of competition in the domain name services market.

The Panel's report is available on the auDA web site at or phone 03 9226 9495.

For further information contact Chris Disspain on phone 03 9226 9495 or 0412 920 408 or email

9 May 2001