auDA Panel Recommends Changes to Domain Name Policy

Posted by Jo Lim on 12 April 2001

auDA’s Name Policy Advisory Panel has completed its review of Australian domain name policies, and recommended several changes aimed at making it easier for Australians to license .au domain names.

The Panel has presented its final report to the auDA Board. The report recommends a number of changes to domain name policies, 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 report also recommends that domain names continue to be allocated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Provided the relevant eligibility criteria are satisfied, the first person to apply for a particular domain name will be allowed to license it.

"The Panel’s final report is the result of two rounds of public consultation. The Panel is confident that its recommendations reflect community views about who should be eligible to hold a domain name, and the type of domain name they can have," said Panel Chair, Derek Whitehead.

The auDA Board will consider the Panel’s report in May. Implementation of the Panel’s recommendations will not take place until the second half of 2001, in conjunction with the introduction of competition in the domain name services market.

"auDA would like to thank Derek Whitehead and the Panel for their hard work and commitment to the policy review process over the past nine months," said auDA Board Co-Chair, Greg Watson.

"auDA is highly appreciative of the Panel’s achievement in producing a quality outcome that is focused on improving the .au domain space for the benefit of all Australians."

The Panel’s Terms of Reference have been extended to address the possible creation of new second level domains (2LDs), to remedy pressing problems in the .au domain space. The Panel will release a public discussion paper in May.

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

For further information about the report, contact Derek Whitehead on phone 03 9214 8333 or 0412 996 025 or email

12 April 2001