Domain Names in Australia - Reviewing the Policy

Posted by Jo Lim on 31 July 2000

Australia's domain name policy review moved into higher gear last week, as the auDA Name Policy Advisory Panel held its second meeting, in Sydney on 25 July.

General interest in domain names has been boosted by the recent decision of ICANN, the international domain space regulatory body, to increase the number of global top level domains - adding new domains to the familiar .com, .net, .edu, etc.

"The likely increase in the number of domain names at the top level will have a major impact on the whole system, with a flow on to Australia," said the Panel Chair, Derek Whitehead, of Swinburne University of Technology. "It will have an impact on many of the other naming issues too."

"What would a good domain name policy look like?" - at its Sydney meeting the Panel adopted a working list of key attributes of a policy, and also considered its Stage 1 report, which will document existing Australian domain name policies.

The Panel has established six working groups to examine the main issues and propose draft policies.

  1. Right names - the issue of appropriateness of name in relation to the entity registering it
  2. Legal names - the IP issues, including the issue of well-known names
  3. Names with fences - what kinds of names should not be registered?
  4. Moving names around - portability, transferability, reselling
  5. Disputes about names - uniform dispute resolution processes
  6. New names - the introduction of new second level domains within the .au space

The Panel aims to produce a public discussion paper by October, and complete the process in early 2001.

All documents of the Panel are available on the auDA web site at . Comments and discussion are invited, and this can be done through auDA's DNS discussion list or by emailing Jo Lim at All submissions to the Panel will be made public unless clearly marked confidential.

For further information contact:
Derek Whitehead
Chair, auDA Name Policy Advisory Panel
03 9214 8333 or 0412 996 025

31 July 2000


auDA is a non-profit company, and was formed in April 1999 by the Australian Internet community to introduce self-regulation of the .au namespace (Internet domains that end in .au).

The Name Policy Advisory Panel was established by the auDA Board in June this year, charged with reviewing domain name eligibility and name allocation policies - in other words, who (or what) can have a domain name, and what name they can have.

auDA will soon be announcing membership of its Competition Model Advisory Panel, established to investigate and recommend an appropriate model for the introduction of competition in the registration of .au domain names.