.au direct domain names are coming

Do you own a com.au, id.au, org.au or similar Australian domain?  Did you know that the Australian Domain Authority (auDA) has released shorter simpler .au direct domain names – like fortitech.au

Owners of existing Australian domains are able to apply for Priority Status to register its exact match in .au direct during the six-month period from launch from 24 March.

If you are looking to register a .au domain name that does not already exist as a .com.au , .net.au etc you can do that from now,  provided it:

  • is available for registration (that is, it is not already registered to someone else);
  • satisfies auDA’s syntax requirements; and
  • is not reserved (either under the priority scheme discussed below, or auDA’s general rules restricting use of domain names containing certain terms, like ‘olympics’).
What are .au direct domains?

.au direct names are general purpose – they’re open to anyone with a verified connection to Australia who wants to create or manage an online presence for themselves or their organisation.  

Why are they launching?

The launch of .au domain names brings Australia in line with other places such as the New Zealand and the United Kingdom who have already had .nz and .uk direct domains in place for a few years.

auDA also touts that it will allow a  wider choice of available names in the Australian domain.

Who is eligible for priority registration?

All .au direct domain names that correspond to an existing third level .au domain name will be reserved for the first six months after the launch date. During this time, holders of existing third level .au domain names will need to apply for priority status in respect of the corresponding second level name.

For example, as the holder of the fortitech.com.au domain name, FortiTech will have priority to apply to register fortitech.au. 

At the end of the period, if no priority applications have been lodged, the .au direct name will become available to the public.

What are the levels of priority?

There may be more than one party eligible to register a single .au direct domain name. For instance, the holder of domainname.com.au and the holder of domainname.net.au would both be eligible to register domainname.au. In order to address this, auDA has developed a priority system. Under this system:

  • first priority is given to the registrant of domain names created before 4 February 2018 (when auDA first announced its intention to offer second level .au domain names, and provide priority to existing holders);
  • second priority is given to the registrant of domain names created after 4 February 2018;
  • an applicant with first priority will prevail over any applicants with second priority;
  • where there are multiple applicants with second priority, the domain name will be allocated to the applicant with the earliest registered corresponding third level domain name; and
  • where there are multiple applicants with first priority, the applicants will be directed to negotiate with each other, and the domain name will be allocated on agreement between the parties.

auDA have outlined the process in the flow chart below:

Key Dates

Registrations for .au domains that do not currently have a .com.au, .net.au match are available for purchase now.

Priority registrations for holders of existing third level .au looking to register a .au are also open now and will close on 20 September 2022.

From 21 September 2022 it becomes a free-for-all of registrations for all .au domain names with any unclaimed names becoming available to the public on a first come, first served basis. 

What are the benefits of a .au direct domain?
  • Short, simple and uniquely Australian domain names
  • A greater choice of website or email addresses ending in .au
  • Easier to type into mobile devices and internet searches
  • It is open to everyone with an Australian presence i.e. you don't have to be a registered business
  • Allows existing .com.au, .org.au etc domain owners to expand their digital presence and branding

Ready to grab your .au direct domain?

Send us an email or give us a call today to discuss your domain registration options.

Don't forget!

In the excitement of ordering your new domain name, don't forget that there will be some technical housekeeping that will still need to be undertaken once you have secured your .au direct domain name including adding it to your Microsoft 365 for Business account to allow you to send and receive emails from the domain,  if you have an a existing .com.au website you might consider redirecting the .au domain to your .com.au website to increase traffic and other tasks such as verifying your DNS records.

FortiTech is of course here to assist with all of this.