seo, Technology

“A load of bollocks”: SMEs demand answers from auDA over introduction of new “.au” domain names

Emma Koehn /

Small businesses are demanding a better answers about the forthcoming introduction of “.au” domain names, with a former non-executive director of the domain registry body auDA warning the rollout of the new domains could result in a long period of “David and Goliath” battles for web addresses.

On Tuesday, SEO expert Jim Stewart raised concerns about discussions auDA has been having in policy review meetings about the introduction of “.au” domains, including the suggestion that organisations that registered “.com.au” sites after April 2016 would have to apply and potentially fight it out to claim their equivalent “.au” domains.

This process could cause significant financial and time costs to small businesses, said Stewart.

The domain registry body has told SmartCompany it is continuing to gather feedback about how direct registrations for these new domains would work in practice. An exact timeline for the introduction of the new system is not yet finalised.

However, business owners have vented their frustration in comments on SmartCompany’s article, questioning whether there is in fact a legitimate need for a new range of domain addresses in the first place.

“What a load of bollocks,” said one comment writer.

“It smacks of an idea hatched in a pub after far too many beers.”

“It is common knowledge the dominant and most aware extension in Australia is .com.au. Why disrupt this and cause confusion and chaos in our ecosystem?” asked another.

Josh Rowe, who previously served as a non-executive director of auDA for 14 years, tells SmartCompany he has also been waiting for a solid explanation from the organisation about why “.au” domains are necessary.

I’m quite open minded about being able to be convinced there is a need, but the issue is, no case has been put forward,” says Rowe, who finished in his auDA role in 2015. 

“There’s been no clear case made for the expansion of the domain space, and to my understanding, it’s not like ‘.com.au’ names are running out.”

In response to questions from SmartCompany this morning, auDA said the idea for “.au” domains stemmed from the 2015 “Names Policy Panel” report, which saw multiple rounds of stakeholder feedback collected on issues, including on the idea of a direct “.au” registration.

“In addition to the public consultations by the panel, auDA’s board also commissioned independent market research, which showed that 60% of respondents were likely or highly likely to register “yourname.au” if it was available,” am auDA spokesperson said.

The auDA spokesperson said benefits of the new type of domain include more memorable site names and more choice for registrants about their website names. However, when asked whether the organisation sees any potential risks to businesses from the introduction of these site names causing SEO issues, auDA said it was “not an SEO agency and cannot advise on potential SEO issues”.

Consultation is still underway for how the new addresses will be rolled out, but even with no specific dates, Rowe says the organisation has questions to answer about the policy idea.

Is auDA in the business of just trying to sustain the domain name industry, or is it there to support the economy and the ‘au’ brand?” he asks. 

The case for change

AuDA, or “.au Administration Ltd”, is the self-regulatory body for domain registrations in Australia.

In 2000, the federal government formally endorsed it to administrate Australian web domains. However, at the end of 2017, the Department of Communications and the Arts launched an inquiry into the management of domain registrations in Australia.

The inquiry came after months of alleged upheaval and mismanagement at auDA, which has seen a number of its board members and executive team members depart in recent years.

A report from the inquiry was slated to be released early this year.

In its statement to the inquiry, auDA said the domain space was facing a number of key challenges that must be dealt with in future, including that “total domains under management will peak and start to decline”, which will place “commercial pressure” on the .au domain space overall.

However, Rowe says he and others in the business community have not heard a solid answer about how Australian organisations will benefit from a new domain name option.

“There has been no proof for us,” he says.

He believes even if there was a business case was established for the new address system, the idea that thousands of new “.au” website addresses could be contested would lead to countless “David and Goliath” battles where small and big businesses would have to negotiate to claim a domain name.

There are also problems if contested addresses are to be decided by chance, such as through a lottery, he says.

“If it was a lottery system, maybe that’s nice, but perhaps down the track, the small guy has won, and the big guy takes them to court for it [the address],” he says. 

Domain name changes remain a challenge

In other submissions to the government’s inquiry on the domain name space, critics of the “.au” domains argue auDA has “no mandate” to introduce the change in the first place.

In an anonymous submission on the issue, one website owner says he currently has eight registered “.com.au” domains, and the change would be “outrageous”.

“There is absolutely no benefit for businesses in having an additional domain name to manage. It is simply an additional expense and an un-necessary overhead,” the business owner said.

Rowe believes the introduction of the new addresses would also cause significant operational expenses for businesses, particularly SMEs.

“There is every other element of changing a domain name to consider — retail signage, your business cards, all that. It is massive.”

NOW READ: Thirty years on, what comes next for .au domains?

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Emma Koehn

Emma Koehn is SmartCompany's senior journalist.

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FROM AROUND THE WEB

  • This is ridiculous. I have to assume that SURELY all of my .com.au domains registered with the ABN that I manage will be made available to me first …… SURELY??

    This seems like change for the sake of change. There is no reason for this. The average punter doesn’t want theirname.au, the only entities that want this are companies ….. and we already have the .com.au.

    Someone explain this?

    • Rohan Baker

      Yes. We still haven’t hit peak stoopid.

      • Jim Stewart

        I gotta tell you, it feels close.

      • Jim Stewart

        I gotta tell you, it feels close.

    • Jim Stewart

      No trademarks or ABNs will count is my understanding. WHich is why are we causing this angst and uncertainty? What is the business case?

  • Nick Young

    Registrars are going to be laughing their way to the bank if this goes through. Is there anyway to find out how much the people pushing this at AuDA are going to be making from this deal? Is there lobbying going on from the registrars? Cause there’s certainly no demand from the public.

  • Snoopy

    The “stakeholder feedback” from the 2015 Names Policy Panel consisted of 2 “Survey Monkey” polls, one had 193 responses and the other was hijacked and badly skewed by a large registrar. Most of those 193 responses would have come from the domain name industry itself, not genuine small business owners.

    The whole thing has been stacked by domain registrars, auDA has zero credibility as an organisation.

    • Peter

      Tpponline, austegistry, Melbourne IT, Brett Fenton have successfully damaged an entire .au namespace…

      Why?

      $$$$$$$$$ for them!!

      Look at the yes only vote spam campaign they did to their entire database which auda minutes know happened.

      All of this while they are on the AuDa Board and risk committee.

      Asic , Accc and AFP need to look at this seriously

  • Concerned and Angry

    Thank you for writing these articles Emma!
    I think the more this information gets disseminated to the masses, the more people will realise what a farce is going on.
    As someone that attended one the the PRP forums, I must say that this was not a public consultation – it was more a sales pitch on why the changes should go ahead. The panel is not impartial and were pushing for the changes. The panel controlled the crowd and essentially treated us like kindergarteners. These sessions were recorded – I do wish that unedited recordings (from every city) are made available so others could see the controlled sales pitch that was occurring by the panel.
    The fact that this can go on in this day and age is a farce, and I do hope that those that are behind the unfair push for these changes are brought to task. It’s not in the public interest auDA. Do what is in the interest of current website holders auDA.
    Current website holders will be held to ransom to protect their brands. Let’s not let it get to that auDA.

    • Narelle

      I’m sad to hear that.
      The job of the panel is immense: to review all the existing auDA policies as well as propose the fairest way that direct registrations could be implemented. It may be that a good faith attempt to ventilate all the issues was difficult in the light of some attendees – seemingly – to wage a campaign against direct registrations. I suggest that campaign (completely within anyone’s rights to run) is best directed at the board of auDA, and not a set of volunteers who are working very hard to gather views and research the full range of options and determine best practice for ccTLD policy.

      • K King

        Narelle.
        At the end of the day it is about fairness, and to those in the know it seems that what is being proposed and the way it is being handled is unfair to many. This is why people are making their concerns heard. In many people’s eyes, the process does not seem to be impartial and we are not happy about it.
        No one is saying that the panel is not working hard – it seems that the panel is pushing for an outcome, and that does not resonate well with those that will be affected.

      • Jim Stewart

        Hi Narrelle sorry if I was annoying and rude there last week. It felt like I was under attack. I’m dead against this without a proper business case and economic impact statement. Call me old fashioned. I’m not waging a campaign against people, it’s the process the people are in charge of. I have the utmost respect that all of you volunteered your time to do this. However you or the process did not allow me to ask questions and we all need answers. How do we as a group address the board? Is there an email alias?

        • Brigadier

          Who said they volunteered without some forms of payment or benefits?

        • Brigadier

          Who said they volunteered without some forms of payment or benefits?

        • Jim Stewart

          So once again we are not being told how to address the decision makers. Is the PRP no longer commenting? You say direct our questions to the board. How do we do that?

  • Wayne

    Don’t see the need for it and I work in the industry. Rarely have any issue with getting names that clients want, see this as nothing but a cash grab by auDA. About time for the government to step in, they’ve lost the plot.

    • Jim Stewart

      Well we at least need a business case to be presented.

  • Narelle

    You will find that the current Policy Review Panel is very open and receptive to comments from the small business sector, and the community generally. It is an *independent* panel with a balanced membership from different sectors (including me). Submissions are open now, see: https://auda.org.au/policies/panels-and-committees/2017-policy-review-panel/

    The Policy Review Panel is reviewing *all* the policies that apply to domain name registrations, and is not just looking at changes to implement direct registrations. I’m sure there are other constructive comments on the way the system works (or doesn’t work) now. People do complain they can’t get their business name as a domain name, and often that it is held by a domainer and essentially parked.

    To add some background to the direct registration discussion, here is the report from the 2015 Names Panel that recommended to the auDA board that direct registrations be introduced: https://auda.org.au/policies/panels-and-committees/2015-names-policy-panel/

    A number of other countries have introduced direct registrations and Australia is the only one in the top 20 country codes that doesn’t have it. Sure, that doesn’t make it compulsory, but it does give some experience we can draw from.

    • Jim Stewart

      I’m sorry Narelle “You will find that the current Policy Review Panel is very open and receptive to comments from the small business sector, and the community generally. ” That was not my experience last week. I was actively shut down and not allowed to ask questions. Your panel said I “was misleading and incorrect” more than once from the stage. I asked to be corrected so I could inform my clients and viewers of my videos. No one told me where I was misleading or incorrect despite repeated requests. When I suggested people may confuse these new domains and suggested maybe Austria. A panel member stated that “.AT is very different to .AU”. I would not have known that without googling it and I’ve been working in the biz for over 20 years. I think the Panel is very far removed from the sentiment of the Aussie biz community. So we should do it because everyone else has? Is that it? Can I have an economic impact statement of that please? Does anyone at AUDA want to know the potential impact to business? I have a lot of data.

    • K King

      Narelle.
      Please look through the comments here.
      The more people finding out about the implications of what is being proposed, the more they are getting angry.
      People are angry as they are not being “fully” informed.
      Do proper diligence.
      Don’t sway the votes with your skewed presentations.
      Listen more to the people that will be affected.
      Push the auDA board to release the unedited presentations that were made so everyone gets to see what is being presented and how it is being presented.
      Apparently less than 100 people across Australia attended in total.
      3 million website holders – only 100 people attending something that could drastically affect their business – Hmmm… perhaps alot of people didn’t get the message that this was happening?
      People are only making noise because they are feeling unfairly treated here Narelle.
      If you guys are truly “balanced”, I urge you to present all sides of this matter clearly and fairly to everyone affected.

  • Snoopy

    Narelle, wasn’t your organisation (ACCAN) strongly against direct registrations before you joined this panel? Are you for it or against it?

    • Narelle

      ACCAN’s position is unchanged. If you look at ACCAN’s history in the policy arena there are any number of government, regulator and industry positions that we have opposed and continue to oppose. The fact is, however, that we endeavour to work constructively with all sides to get the best possible outcomes for consumers. That means we will state our opposition, and then work to get the best set of protections in place we can under whatever system emerges.

      The Policy Review Panel’s job is not to debate direct registrations. That is not its charter. Its charter is 1. to review the lengthy list of policies and consolidate them with the view to getting best practice; 2. to propose an implementation plan for direct registrations.

      I went into this in good faith and am applying a *significant* amount of time to the process. The various names policies need review and I am hoping to make a positive contribution to this.

      • Snoopy

        Narelle, I appreciate your candid response. I think the debate at the moment is about the merits of the proposal. Everyone except auDA and domain registrars see it that way. Look at the comments here, they about whether it should happen or not. I do not think Australian Business is onside in auDA attempts to push this through without proper discussion.

        • Concerned

          Agreed Snoopy!

          • Teresa

            Accan.org.au is against another .au extension and stand by the 2015 press release it will hurt existing registrants and add more costs plus the process has been obviously tarnished and is not in the interests of anyone.

            The cash grab is obvious.

            Auda and others should be investigated over this and legal action taken.

      • Jim Stewart

        Well thank you for taking time on the Panel Narrelle. I realise it is a labour of love and I do thank you. A lot of us also love the Internet and have already had to take time out of our busy schedules to oppose this. It’s already costing us money. We all have employees, clients, regulations, admin that we have to do and we don’t need this distraction. Not without a good business case which we are still yet to hear. We certainly don’t need the extra $70 or whatever a year in the registration fees. I’m not interested in talking about how I want a new tax implemented. I just want to know why I have a new tax? If the Panel can’t tell us this, who do we ask?

  • Hi

    I think .au is the inevitable future as per global domain standards and best practice as modern business moves away from legacy, meaningless .com in the domain name

    97% of .com.au owners will get the .au

    So why the hysteria? .com.au is ugly

    As of today WordPress is giving away .blog domain with built in turnkey websites for free on

    news.blog
    fashion.blog
    science.blog
    finance.blog
    Photo.blog

    What’s better?

    Smart.Company
    SmartCompany.blog
    SmartCompany.au
    SmartCompany.com.au
    SmartCompany.com

    • Concerned

      97% of .com.au will get the .au? Where do you get this statistic from?
      If you are correct – 3% of 3 million is still 90,000 businesses. Shall we just brush over that number with your statistic ‘Hi’?

      Most of the companies I see in .uk and .nz (recent countries to offer direct rego’s) don’t use the direct extension – they have defensively registered their name, and point the site to the .co.uk or .co.nz.
      Check out google.uk – not in use!
      Check out google.nz – not in use!
      ebay.nz – it doesn’t go to ebay
      ebay.uk – it goes to ebay.CO.uk!

      The issue at play here is:
      1) the PRP have stated that any 2ld .au – .net.au, .com.au, .asn.au, .id.au, .gov.au, .edu.au will have equal rights to the .au – they indicated that the likes of a .id.au has an equal right to the .au as a .com.au.
      2) If an agreement between 2ld’s cannot be reached, then they stated that you will need to negotiate between parties (ie. pay money to the other party) to get the .au
      3) If agreement does not work, it will go into a lottery system (which you will need to pay to be a part of it seems!) and one of the parties will randomly be selected.

      We are not saying that this should not come in – we are saying why should current businesses have to go through through the challenge of having to defend/ pay more for their .au.
      If it was to come in – let the current .com.au holder have it for free!

      So… the reason for the hysteria is: it’s going affect businesses detrimentally! And may cause brands to suffer and unneccessary confusion. This is a big issue for those affected, and that’s why people are making noise ‘Hi’!

      • Jim Stewart

        Well I still would like to know why? There are other associated cost like increased competition in the search results.

    • Jim Stewart

      Sorry who are you? You seem to know a lot about this. Do you want an answer with real data to that question? Because I have it.

    • Donald

      You need to read more on this issue.

      You may also have been sold a dummy.

      Their claims are outright lies and people are saying surveys where rigged…

    • Donald

      You need to read more on this issue.

      You may also have been sold a dummy.

      Their claims are outright lies and people are saying surveys where rigged…

  • Small Business Owner Mary

    An obvious scam by someone at auDA.org.au and some registrarsr who personally will get a “performance bonus” from this.

  • Joe briggs

    Everyone knows they surveys where rigged. I got an email in 2015 from melbourneit to only vote yes. Did my vote count/ I changed my mind now I know more.

    Can’t wait to hit them in the law suit where it hurts…them personally

    Too much info online proving it is a rigged scam.

    • Jim Stewart

      The survey was the equivalent of “If we introduced a new tax would you pay it?”

  • Casandra M

    Are they seriously going to proceed when people know so much against it now and about the flawed AuDA process?

    • Jim Stewart

      Unless we make some noise. The decision can be reversed.

  • Tony

    Auda needs to put the auDA policy review panel audio and presentations in the auda.org.au website so the public and affected people can listen to it and read it then make pur submissions.

    How come auda isn’t letting us existing domain name owners know about this stuff?

    What else are they hiding?

    Send in the Police..this all sounds too corrupt and politically stacked for the result they will profit from.

    Everyone else will suffer and pay more..They simply dont even care.

    Lock them up!!

    Whats the useless Minister Mitch Fredstone Fifield doing? He got his Liberal mate the Auda CEO job Camerin Boardmen and look at the mess to the .au name spsce reputation since he took over

    • Jim Stewart

      LOL spat some wine when I read Fred Flinstone. I’ve been told the Public forum recordings are not available to the Public

  • Damian

    Thanks Smart Company for let at least a few of us know!

    Doesnt look good for those involved

    It certainly sounds like a major costly drama for us

    I know most of these new domain names are failing around the world and people are going back to what they know.

    I didn’t even know anything about this until know! Why not? Where are my rights to know and vote? Do I get a chance?

    What do we do next to stop this madness. I simply don’t have the time or money to be wasting on another domain name and new marketing, seo, repaint my truck and logos. For what?

    maybe this is their plan? Double charge everyone?

    Now I’m also getting mad. Every existing owner will be affected badly I bet they know it but are downplaying the damage.

    Just because they did it in another country and it failed there doesn’t mean we should let them ruin things here and try the experiment here.

    .com.au is Strong… before they mucked this up.

    • Jim Stewart

      Damian I’ve worked in the Internet industry for over 20 years and I missed this. But I can post a vid on LI and say WTF? and here we are. I have no idea why the biz community was not consulted. There is a position for a Peak Industry Business representative for the review panel which is empty. PRP submissions close 4/3

  • Oasis Rules

    Our business votes NO.

    “A load of Bullocks”… Classic..!

  • Nostradamus

    F for FAIL

    I don’t really understand this but it sounds like I’m going to pay more for my business internet stuff?

    F that or show me the real benefits to ME and my 9 staff so I can tell them to work harder so I can afford it!

    • Brecknell Media

      It’s simple. .au will provide new options in much the same way every new domain space on the internet ever has. There’s no reason to believe it will require you to pay more. If you want an extra domain name, you can try to register one. If what you want is available, your staff will not have to work harder. To afford it, you can probably just go without 3 coffees a year – because that’s roughly what current .com.au domains cost. No one needs to show you any benefits, because there are no obligations and no reason to believe you will be harmed. Why give the proposal an “F for Fail” if you don’t understand it?

      • Jim Stewart

        Well James from your posts it does not seem like you fully understand it either. It is indeed very confusing. So please tell me why? Why do we have to understand? What’s the benefit?

        • Brecknell Media

          You don’t have to understand it. You can if you want to, and like most things in business, it probably will benefit you if you do. If you need to understand it in order to avoid making unfounded assumptions about the harms involved, then you probably do need to understand it.

          • Jim Stewart

            I’ve had over 12,000 views on my vid now James. If I did not explain what is happening with .au to my clients it would be negligent of me.

          • Jim Stewart

            I’ve had over 12,000 views on my vid now James. If I did not explain what is happening with .au to my clients it would be negligent of me.

        • Brecknell Media

          You don’t have to understand it. You can if you want to, and like most things in business, it probably will benefit you if you do. If you need to understand it in order to avoid making unfounded assumptions about the harms involved, then you probably do need to understand it.

  • Jeff

    I have over 20 years experience in the Australian domain name space, founding and still operating numerous online businesses in that time and I vehemently oppose the possible introduction of direct registrations via the .au domain extension, due to the following reasons and beliefs (to name just a few):

    A) Put simply, such an introduction is completely unnecessary, unfounded and unwarranted given the existence of an already very well established, well recognised (worldwide) and well utilised .corn.au domain name extension here in Australia

    B) The overwhelming, totally avoidable (at this stage anyway) and exorbitant additional commercial costs to large and small businesses alike (incl full rebranding, advertising changes [TV, Radio, Billboards, Print, Online]), plus costs to alert the marketplace via a business’s current merchants, suppliers and/or other every day website or service end users would also likely be something that many would not or at least may not survive

    C) The sheer confusion that would exist both here and abroad should internet users (after some 20 years use of the highly successful .com.au extension) attempt to be totally re-educated into using the new .au extension rather than the one that has always worked for everyone (.corn.au) and for what logical reasoning other than
    to increase registration revenues for a select few ?

    D) then of course, there’s the very likely many legal challenges that may result from such an introduction. I can imagine and easily foresee a minefield of absolute litigious proportions from all commercial circles (big & small) should .au direct registrations be formally introduced into Australia, especially if some or all of those commercial entities and/or corporations) i) Not be allocated the new .au extension to begin with and/or ii) Not be provided with a direct invitation to contribute to the overall consultation and possible introduction process, and

    E) There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever (provided thus far) to suggest that Australia is running out of available .com.au and .net.au commercial domain names still suitable for businesses here, and thus, that as a logical reason alone for bringing in a totally new extension (.au) is completely inaccurate.

    Having clearly stated my thoughts on this matter, if it ever was the case that a .au extension was to be introduced, then there should be no other alternative than the current .com.au (commercial) registrant of the equivalent .au domain name being given first rights to the new extension.

    We as commercial business operators who have registered corn.au domain names for our business enterprises in good faith over many years, were not ever provided the opportunity to register edu.au, gov.au or org.au domain names for our businesses on their first introduction back in the early 2000’s (understandably so) and therefore those same edu.au / gov.au and org.au domain name holders should also not be provided the opportunity to register or be entitled to the commercial .au equivalent domain name in this instance.

    I feel that common sense will prevail in this entire debate and given the thoughts and comments of almost all participants in this forum’s topic and others like it, clearly suggest that .au should not be introduced, at least until such time as a valid case for same has been established and/or the .com.au and net.au domain name extensions have already been exhausted.

    • Concerned

      Hear hear!

      • Concerned

        I would also mention that if direct .au is introduced, it should be granted free of charge to the .com.au registrant (not for one year or five years but forever) for their use if they wished. One should not have to defensively register the .au version of their domain name (to protect others from registering it) and be charged extra. If it comes in and is for the greater good (and not an extra tax) then that would be the fairest way.

        • Jim Stewart

          They’ve already said they won’t do that. They want you to make those suggestions because it’s an “assumptive close” on the deal. If you’re talking about implementation, they’re implementing. It’s what they did in the UK.

    • Jim Stewart

      Wow wish I was that articulate. What they said!

  • BathurstRealEstate.com.au

    Our business never got any survey form auda!!

    We Vote NO also!

    Is this a joke? It’s not funny for businesses.

  • Carlton Crew

    Who are these clowns?

    Sounds like Auda is a money circus….

    I can see the open clown mouth ball game now as we put in our money to keep feeding them

    Cant wait to meet them in person once I find out who is behind this.

    Enough us Enough of the dodgy “not for profit”.

    All they do is take take take.

    We might just go for a com or something else or just an APP or facebook account only and they can get stuffed all together.

    They got too GREEDY.

  • NswBusinessChamber.Com.Au

    Who is in charge of this and we can contact them to voice our concerns. We didn;t know about this also.

    I am sure most of our members would vote no if we have been notified and provided some facts to review and send out if needed.

    What are the costs?
    Can all of our members get it FREE or can they get it at all?
    Why is is better than what they have already bought and use now?
    How will it affect their IP rights, current marketing and current names and branding?

    Seems to be poorly conceived, poorly explained to people. Why? The more I am reading the more concerned I am for a lot of businesses and current .com,au , ,net.au users also.

    Money is tight.

    Why break the working current model other countries look up to now?

    The current model has a great global reputation I worry is now being damaged by this. That means our members are being damaged now and maybe more later?

    • Jim Stewart

      We’re being told by one of the Policy Review Panel members that we must contact the board. We could get all their invidual emails but I’d prefer a single email alias. For goodness sake they’re AUDA! Not hard to setup. Despite the claims made by the PRP they are only listening if you tell them how you want to be taxed. BTW If you have any events coming up I’d be happy to talk for free and explain some consequences and ways we can stop this. AUDA certainly isn’t going to explain consequences. I’ve had at least 4 other SEO co. weigh in on this and they all agree we’ll get more work out of it. SO if it goes though you can be sure you’ll be up for a lot more than just an annual reg fee.

  • Coral Chan

    I am a small business owner with 5 staff and 3 casuals.

    We have a good .com.au name and we like it.

    WE ALSO VOTE NO

    We don’t want extra costs and we don’t want our customers confused even more.

    Are we too late to vote?

    It’s obviously one of the other 1500 domain name extensions these type of “not for profits” sell for a lot of money to get rich themselves.

    I would love to know how much this NFP get paid. Just like some of these dodgy charities not many people ever really benefit from their existence.

    They are like the mafia taking their cut at every major fruit market ( our family business was in fruit & veg before so I know the “tax” or “Fee”.. whatever they call it its all the same thing an added costs for the “middle man” who does nothing)… same thing but it looks like their cut is bigger here and they make a cut off every .au domain name!

    They will get caught one day….

  • Rosemary F

    No way from our business also.

    No clue what it’s really about except we don’t want to pay more and our .com.au is also what we have spent a lot of money on to brand our business around! It is our livelihoods and it feeds our family.

    Do not hurt our business please. Do you even care?

  • Nossie

    No Thanks!!

    I didn’t receive anything about a survey or vote and we have used our .com.au for 18 years!

    Auda makes a lot of money already from this monopoly.

    Might be time they had some one else bid against them for the monopoly rights to steal from us.

    Close them down and I bet someone else can do it for far less cost and less problems.

    • Brecknell Media

      Why do you believe they’re stealing from you? And in what sense do they have a monopoly? They are the authority for a domain space. There has to be a single authority for a domain space because you can’t have two sets of rules for the registration of the same domains. Meanwhile there are many domain name registrars who sell domains for that space according to those rules. That’s how the internet works. Few domain spaces in the world result in domain name prices anything significantly lower than auDA’s. Many are more expensive. .com.au domains cost about $12 a year. There are many types of domains that cost upwards of $40 a year, and some much higher than that.

      • Jim Stewart

        Well AUDA’s charges have been well documented. I feel they are stealing from us. http://www.smh.com.au/small-business/smallbiz-tech/millions-of-australian-domain-name-owners-ripped-off-20170807-gxqpzs.html Like most businesses if this goes ahead it’s something we feel we’ll have to buy simply so no one else gets it. Simple as that. Then I don’t have to think about the consequences of not having it. AUDA knows this, it’s called defensive registration. We have not been told why we need it and I feel they are just sticking their hand in our pocket and taking our money. I’m sure you can see from the comments how most other businesses feel too.

        • Brecknell Media

          If people’s concerns were that simple it would be much simpler to address them: they don’t have to buy one; it’s a relatively small cost if they want to; they can very easily forward a new domain to an existing one; they don’t automatically have a right to the wording they want because that’s the way the internet needs to work in order to be fair; it’s already normal on the internet for people to have to understand that a different domain ending could mean a different entity; there’s no need to assume .au will take over from .com.au as the most reputable domain type in Australia – especially, if as you say, the eligibility rules will be different; and the current existence of the potential for exact match wordings on different domain types such as .net.au shows that people shouldn’t assume they will need a new domain in order to maintain the dominant recognition of their current identity. But clearly some people are unnecessarily concerned about much greater issues that don’t exist – such as having to move their business primarily to a direct-registered .au domain or maybe even the potential abolition of existing .com.au names. I can see that most other businesses commenting on this article are opposed, but many could save themselves some angst by avoiding assumptions about what will happen. Some commenters are literally saying they don’t know what this is about but are opposed to it.

          • Jim Stewart

            You clearly have your mind made up. That’s cool. I’ve already addressed all your points above in previous posts. I only ask that before you make a blanket statement as fact you check. I attended the PRP forums. I’m giving you info I learned there which is new to us all.

        • Brecknell Media

          How is auDA is robbing people on the basis of domain prices when .com.au domains are about the same price as .com domains? And I’m not going to suggest you’re implying the prices of Melbourne IT, as mentioned in the SMH article, are auDA’s fault, but it is unfortunate that the article uses easily the highest domain prices by a long way that I have ever heard of in Australia to illustrate how people are being ripped off. auDA isn’t robbing me.

        • Brecknell Media

          How is auDA is robbing people on the basis of domain prices when .com.au domains are about the same price as .com domains? And I’m not going to suggest you’re implying the prices of Melbourne IT, as mentioned in the SMH article, are auDA’s fault, but it is unfortunate that the article uses easily the highest domain prices by a long way that I have ever heard of in Australia to illustrate how people are being ripped off. auDA isn’t robbing me.

  • Abdul O

    Emma good story. Keep onto this issue.

    Too many businesses could face serious damage and unnecessary extra costs if this Auda mob get their greedy paws on more money.

    I was shocked to find out they make so much money already from us all.

    Auda has 21 million in the bank? WTF? That needs to be refunded!!

    What a great scam they’ve been running and no one knew…

    Now we know they must be exposed and stopped!

    Our business is happy with our .com.au also. It does the job.

    F the extra .au and more unnecessary costs!

    • Brecknell Media

      Why complain about unnecessary costs when you won’t have to buy a .au domain?

  • Baby Joy

    Our business votes NO also.

    24 staff, 2 dogs, 1 cat…7 fish!

    We will stick with out .com.au and Facebook

    Obviously this is not needed. Everyone knows it’s about greed even trying it.

    I am from the England and let me tell everyone I’ve never even seen a .uk in use ever!!
    .gov.uk and .co.uk are everywhere.

    That’s why I strongly say NO. They are lying here .uk is popular it is not.

    • Brecknell Media

      The implication of your argument is that .au will not be a problem to existing .com.au users, who can safely ignore it and not bother to register a .au. So why are people feeling so threatened by the .au proposal?

      • Jim Stewart

        There are many problems James. The question is why does AUDA feel the need to do this? Shouldn’t that be the question? Not ‘why don’t you stop what you’re doing and learn all about DNS, EMD, Redirects, and how we’re going to implement this’

        • Brecknell Media

          That’s a fair question. But my focus has not been primarily on any sinister motivation auDA may have in pushing it, but on questions about whether any problems are as bad as people fear. If the problems aren’t as bad, then there’s more benefit in pushing the advantages. The implications of what businesses need to know about DNS and redirects are usually very simple – if they have to know much at all rather than entrust what for many businesses might be small jobs for their web designer. For example, they’re a lot simpler than what businesses already need to understand in order to compete well in ecommerce unless their domain ownerships are unusually complex. EMD is something that every business on the internet that cares about its identity should have known about for a long time (even if they’re not familiar with the acronym). So I’m suggesting the issue is being blown out of proportion. Are you suggesting a great need for businesses to learn technical details because you expect people will need to move their business primarily to a direct .au domain? If so, why assume that?

          • Jim Stewart

            My point James is that they have to consider the implications. You’ve outlined a bunch as have others. There is a cost to all of us just to have this conversation. We are not being told why.

          • Concerned

            James – An open question to you:
            Are you in any way connected personally, via family or business connection to anyone at auDA?
            I’d appreciate your honest response.

          • Brecknell Media

            No, I’m not.

          • Jim Stewart

            The way I fix problems in a business is, I look at the cause. AUDA is the cause, without a good business case they should be stopped. If there is a business case and economic impact statement, let’s see it. Then we’ll know whether it’s worth implementing and work out the problems.

  • Baby Joy

    Our business votes NO also.

    24 staff, 2 dogs, 1 cat…7 fish!

    We will stick with out .com.au and Facebook

    Obviously this is not needed. Everyone knows it’s about greed even trying it.

    I am from the England and let me tell everyone I’ve never even seen a .uk in use ever!!
    .gov.uk and .co.uk are everywhere.

    That’s why I strongly say NO. They are lying here .uk is popular it is not.

  • Amanda’s gifts

    NO also from us at Amanda’s Gifts.

  • BJ Needs & Associates

    NO from us too……
    Are they listening but as they claim?

    • Jim Stewart

      no I think we need to shout louder. They’re waiting out this storm.

  • Chris P.

    Our .com.au and branding is our whole business. It feeds my wife and 2 kids and soon my parents.

    I had an accident years ago and am now disabled so my business is online from home office.

    My customers know our website and no we dont want a new competitor with the same name and more confusion.

    Do not change anything. Don’t blackmail us!!

    Keep the current .au options but lower the costs!!

    We vote NO

  • Chris P.

    Our .com.au and branding is our whole business. It feeds my wife and 2 kids and soon my parents.

    I had an accident years ago and am now disabled so my business is online from home office.

    My customers know our website and no we dont want a new competitor with the same name and more confusion.

    Do not change anything. Don’t blackmail us!!

    Keep the current .au options but lower the costs!!

    We vote NO

  • Marybeth

    Like so many others we’ve spent a lot on our .com.au branding etc.It costs a lot to do it all not just a small extra cost.

    We can see straight through this and it smells bad.

    NO FROM US

  • Marybeth

    Like so many others we’ve spent a lot on our .com.au branding etc.It costs a lot to do it all not just a small extra cost.

    We can see straight through this and it smells bad.

    NO FROM US

  • Kee Kee

    I got this link sent to me now while I’m in China for business.

    Many China businesses know and trust .com.au. I would say do not hurt that reputation!

    In my meeting tonight my Chinese contacts said this will increase Fraud in the .au namespaces.

    They are experts in this as its growing problem in China online.

    If they do it more problems will hit Australia they are not even knowing about.

    • Brecknell Media

      Why would it increase fraud? Do you mean because someone might register smithfinancial.au and email someone pretending to be smithfinancial.com.au? Well, that might happen, but it’s unlikely to happen as much as it already would with, say, someone registering smithfinancial.com and pretending to be smithfinancial.com.au. Why less unlikely? Because auDA regulates eligibility for its domains better than .com, .net, .biz, .info etc. The only information I’ve read on intended eligibility rules for direct registration of .au is that they will be the same as those for .com.au, which means .au will be less open to fraud than most of the internet.

      • Jim Stewart

        The eligibility rules will be different to .com.au. You need to understand that as you keep writing it.

        • Brecknell Media

          I’m happy to be corrected if I got the wrong impression from what I read of intended eligibility for direct registration. If that is the case, I accept that fraud risk may increase. My question wasn’t intended to assert it won’t happen, but the rest of my post still stands in that if there are eligibility rules, it would still mean less likelihood of fraud than with many types of domains. And that means people can guard against it in at least the same ways they already need to for other domains.

  • Kee Kee

    I got this link sent to me now while I’m in China for business.

    Many China businesses know and trust .com.au. I would say do not hurt that reputation!

    In my meeting tonight my Chinese contacts said this will increase Fraud in the .au namespaces.

    They are experts in this as its growing problem in China online.

    If they do it more problems will hit Australia they are not even knowing about.

  • Anne

    The Panel finishes soon but they never even had a Peak Business Representative which they where suppose to have many months ago.

    Whoever it is they missed all of the Prp meetings to date!

    This shows what a scam process it really is.

    The PRP has no credibility on these issues and do not have any actual power to suggest or do anything under the current laws.

    Only the new auDA Board can do things and in this case they better fix the old Boards mistakes-, Can this whole .au change crap or it looks like a long line up of very angry people!

  • Don’t burst my bubble

    It would seem the only way to introduce this new domain would be to treat it like the existing one. Any currently registered domains would automatically transfer across and only new nonexistent ones can be created then simply phase out .com.au…otherwise people will simply register existing ones and try to ransom businesses for them.. not fair… should have been introduced in the beginning now it’s just a headache

    • Jim Stewart

      Yep.. and that sounds like a logical approach IF there was a good business case for doing it. Unfortunately migrating websites between domains always results in a drop in traffic for an unknown period. Who pays for that?

    • Snoopy

      This idea has been mooted before, but there is no increase in revenue in it for AUDA or registrars so it has fallen on deaf ears. As Jim is suggests though there is issues with the transfer. I think a lot of time would likely need to be given, but auDA just isn’t listening either because they want to increase the amount of cash they have in bank.

    • Brecknell Media

      Why do you feel the proposed change has anything to do with phasing out .com.au? And people registering existing business names and ransoming them would be no more possible with a new .au domain space than with the existing .com.au. There are eligibility rules and dispute processes, and trademarks can have a bearing as well. It’s true that a registered domain name doesn’t have to be a business name, so that does create a risk that registering a generic set of terms as a business or trading name (tradetools.com.au might be an example) opens you up to someone else legitimately registering the wording of your business name in a different domain type (for example, a business called Smithson’s Tools might legitimately register tradetools.au if the eligibility rules for .au are similar to the current ones for .com.au). But that just means it’s a factor to weigh up in business. If you call your business a generic term in order to improve search engine performance, for example, you take the risk of someone else registering those terms. If, on the other hand, you register a unique identity as a business name and use that in your domain (smithsonstools.com.au, as a hypothetical example), no one else will likely be eligible to register the wording smithsonstools in another domain type and realistically be able to claim they are not infringing a trademark (unless, perhaps, their name is Smithson and they also sells tools). Two different businesses with the same name legitimately registered in different states of Australia may have problems with the availability of the name they want to register if the other business already has it. But that’s just the reality of the world we live in: different states existed before the internet; and only one entity can use one domain name. Businesses have to understand the realities of the internet and weigh up the risks of how they choose their name and register domain names. The introduction of .au won’t change anything about how fair or unfair those realities are.

      • Jim Stewart

        Sorry James you are incorrect. The same rules don’t apply. Trademarks etc will not have a bearing. Do not forget you are competing with .org.au .id.au .gov.au a lot of those won’t have trademarks. AUDA has already told us there are 90,000 that will be contested.

        • Brecknell Media

          I know the same rules don’t apply directly to domain names as trademarks. But trademarks do have a bearing – for example, in relation to the already existing domain eligibility rules concerning registration in bad faith. I’m not saying people are unable to register a domain wording that is already someone else’s trademark. But I’ll give an example of the trademark’s bearing. I know of a community organisation that misled the public about having registered an organisation name matching the name of a new one intending to form, and then registered a related domain name wording, preventing the newly forming, competing group, from registering the same thing. The existing organisation actually had grounds not just to register the one it did, but one with the full wording of the new organisation’s name (but didn’t do so), even though it’s own name was different. If the new organisation already had a registered trademark, it would contribute to any “bad faith” case that might arise against the existing organisation’s documented opposition to the new organisation and its documented untruthfulness if the existing one registered the new organisation’s entity wording as a domain wording.

          I don’t know what you mean by 90,000 names to be contested. I don’t see why an existing, validly registered name would be contested because of a new type of domain. Is that what you’re talking about? Are you sure they’re not cases of registrations with existing ambiguity of eligibility under the current rules?

          • Jim Stewart

            AUDA has there will be 90K contested domains. The rules that apply to .com.au will not apply to .au So just because you have an ABN/trademark does not give you any rights. Leave it out of the argument. Fetch.com.au paid $130k last year for the domain. They are not eligible for the .au. Confusing isn’t it? If you were explaining this to your customers there is a lot to know.

          • Brecknell Media

            Sorry, I misunderstood what you were saying earlier about the same rules not applying. I thought you meant the same rules do not apply to domains as to trademarks, but I see you were saying the eligibility rules for direct .au will not be the same as for .com.au.

            The rules for direct registrations haven’t been decided yet. One of the possibilities is that they will be essentially the same as 2LDs (except to amalgamate all of the eligibility bases for the one new domain type). I acknowledge that they could be different if other models are adopted, and I apologise for saying they would be the same, though I can find only one instance, and feel you may be misunderstanding what I was referring to if you feel there are other cases.

            As for trademarks, the reality is that already “a trademark owner has no better entitlement to a domain name than a business name owner”. That’s a quote concerning the current situation from the auDA discussion paper. But the freedom for a non-trademark owner to register a wording doesn’t change the fact that trademarks have a bearing on domain challenges, as shown by cases such as this – https://madderns.com.au/toll-dodging-trade-mark-registration-may-decrease-the-cost-of-challenging-domain-name-registration/ – as well as the case of the community organisations I explained earlier.

            Also, the only suggested changes in the discussion paper to the impact of trademarks on domain eligibility and allocation concern whether overseas trademark holders will continue to be eligible to register related Australian domains without already having an identical Australian trademark. This suggestion is designed to reduce the number of domains made unavailable to eligible Australians, so I see it as a good thing.

            Having considered the various suggested models for rules, so far I’m in favour of the discussion paper’s model (C), which for existing 2LDs, involves abolishing close and substantial connection allocation rules and allowing only exact match, acronymn or abbreviation. I don’t see an absolute need for those stricter rules, but over time it would do a better job of increasing the number of people using generic terms in direct .au domains instead of in 2LDs. That would make 2LDs more about trust and recognition of entities, and direct .au domains more about flexibility, which I do think is needed. While this would make eligibility and allocation substantially different for direct .au compared to .com.au, establishing direct .au domains as the less authoritative but more flexible type of domain, I feel we’d get the best of both worlds – on the one hand, new options for businesses who currently lack Australian-domain options to match their name and more flexibility for Australian-identified websites with personal purposes, and on the other hand, preservation of the trust in Australian 2LDs. Under this model I would see it as unnecessary to fear that direct .au domains would undermine the existing 2LDs’ authority or to feel the a need to use direct .au domains to compete for perceived authority in the marketplace.

            I see no basis in the discussion paper for suggesting Fetch will be ineligible for the .au under any of the proposed models.

            Thanks for the discussion. It’s driven me to understand more about what’s going on, but nothing here or in the auDA discussion papers or reports on submissions have changed my view that direct .au is beneficial and could be implemented without excessive challenges. I’ve probably spent enough time here, so if you’d like to discuss anything else, I’d suggest contacting me through brecknellmedia.com.au/contact. Now that I need to catch up on other things, I may not be able to get to it quickly.

  • Don’t burst my bubble

    It would seem the only way to introduce this new domain would be to treat it like the existing one. Any currently registered domains would automatically transfer across and only new nonexistent ones can be created then simply phase out .com.au…otherwise people will simply register existing ones and try to ransom businesses for them.. not fair… should have been introduced in the beginning now it’s just a headache

  • Please explain auDA

    To Cameron Boardman and auDA.
    I hope that you guys are thoroughly investigated for what is going on at auDA and the “push” that is seemingly happening.
    I thought you guys were meant to be FOR the people.
    Most of the Australian public (and affected businesses) do not know what is going on and that in itself is very disturbing. I hope all the media outlets take up this story – and if it discovered that the way you have conducted yourself is not in the public interest – I do hope you are publicly exposed.
    Please do not SELL the .au – present a balanced argument showing all the pros and cons. Be neutral. Present proper facts and figures not just what backs up your agenda. Alot of people are watching this space now – and I sure as hell hope that the people hold you guys accountable
    THE REASON THE PEOPLE ARE ANGRY IS BECAUSE THEY FEEL YOU GUYS ARE NOT DOING THE RIGHT THING… and it sure as hell feels like a money grab.
    It ain’t too late to change your ways auDA. The people are watching – and the media is beginning to listen.
    Oh and with SPIN – don’t treat the public like fools. People can read through the crap.

    • Jim Stewart

      Well said.

    • Snoopy

      “Please do not SELL the .au – present a balanced argument showing all the pros and cons.”

      That exactly what was happening at the Melbourne panel meeting, they were trying to sell this as a good idea even though many on the panel were previously against it.

      • Concerned

        If they are a “balanced” panel – why are they SELLING this idea! I just wish this could all be exposed. They are not an independent panel. If you don’t have anything to hide just release the unedited recordings from your presentations- let the public decide if you guys are being dodgy or not. Something doesn’t smell right auDA!

        • Snoopy

          Yes, that was concerning, they started bringing up all the positive selling points and anyone who then mentioned any negative points they’d attempt to shut that person down by saying the meeting is not about the merits of the proposal.

          I am also very concerned about why the audio recordings have not be released and I found the attempts to stop photos being taken of the slides to be telling also.

  • Kristina

    If it was free I was interested before but now I think that could create a mess with another competing .au.

    Jim Stewarts an expert Ive been using for my business for years. I trust his advice on the SEO problems it will make.

    I’ll stick with our .Com.au and I bet he ranks us higher than anyone else could with a .au anyway.

    No thanks AUDA.org.au and PRP. I’m on your website now to see who is making this mess. They need to be FIRED today to stop the bleeding.

  • Jessica

    No from us.

  • Jim Stewart

    I think it’s great that one of the Panel members has commented below. It would be good if they could tell us why the audio recordings from a public forum are not being made public.

  • Concerned

    REPLY TO POST FROM NICK YOUNG
    (it was buried amongst comments below but thought that it was very relevant so reposted)

    Nick Young • a day ago
    Registrars are going to be laughing their way to the bank if this goes through. Is there anyway to find out how much the people pushing this at AuDA are going to be making from this deal? Is there lobbying going on from the registrars? Cause there’s certainly no demand from the public.

    Concerned Nick Young • 3 hours ago
    You can bet your bottom dollar there’s lobbying going on from the registrars! Just have a look at who is on the PRP – Brett Fenton from Melbourne IT.
    Oh… and this is what they sent out via TPPWholesale/Netregistry:
    https://www.tppwholesale.co
    https://www.netregistry.com
    Hmm… smells a little bit like a conflict of interest

  • Also concerned

    Good work Emma – keep on this story.

    I don’t need to be the 50th commentator to point out all of the flaws with this process. Confusion, hierarchy of rights, lotteries or auctions (!) when there are contests for names, unnecessary cost etc etc.

    The biggest problem (as these comments have shown) is that auDA hasnt adequately consulted on potentially seismic changes. Not only is the policy panel looking at direct registrations, but also reforms to licencing rules, domain suspension rules, data collection and disclosure etc.

    “Mom and Pop” SMEs usually shouldnt need to be involved in auDA consultations. The system should (and, to date, has) just work. But this is different and yet auDA has steadfastly refused to consult all registrants of the existing 3million+ .au names. auDA / registrars have a pre-existing business relationship with registrants, so it wouldnt be spam. Just send a simple email pointing out the changes that are being considered!

    The 2015 Policy Panel that proposed direct registrations was swayed by registrar interests and a “Vote Yes” campaign. But just because a Panel makes a recommendation, it doesnt mean the auDA Board has to accept it. Many past recommendations (registering names for periods of more or less than 2 years, for example) havent been implemented. The auDA Board is not bound to action. In fact, before it even gets to that stage, the current PRP could come back and say “we cant see a feasible and effective way of implementing this”. But somehow I have my doubts….

  • Also concerned

    Good work Emma – keep on this story.

    I don’t need to be the 50th commentator to point out all of the flaws with this process. Confusion, hierarchy of rights, lotteries or auctions (!) when there are contests for names, unnecessary cost etc etc.

    The biggest problem (as these comments have shown) is that auDA hasnt adequately consulted on potentially seismic changes. Not only is the policy panel looking at direct registrations, but also reforms to licencing rules, domain suspension rules, data collection and disclosure etc.

    “Mom and Pop” SMEs usually shouldnt need to be involved in auDA consultations. The system should (and, to date, has) just work. But this is different and yet auDA has steadfastly refused to consult all registrants of the existing 3million+ .au names. auDA / registrars have a pre-existing business relationship with registrants, so it wouldnt be spam. Just send a simple email pointing out the changes that are being considered!

    The 2015 Policy Panel that proposed direct registrations was swayed by registrar interests and a “Vote Yes” campaign. But just because a Panel makes a recommendation, it doesnt mean the auDA Board has to accept it. Many past recommendations (registering names for periods of more or less than 2 years, for example) havent been implemented. The auDA Board is not bound to action. In fact, before it even gets to that stage, the current PRP could come back and say “we cant see a feasible and effective way of implementing this”. But somehow I have my doubts….

    • Concerned

      Agreed!

  • Robert Kaay

    Great article Emma. This can all be made very simple. auDA can now clearly see their appointed PRP has completely “bumbled” this up. They need to demand the PRP present their proposal so they can deny it. What is taking them so long? This will quickly stop further damage to the .COM.AU brand THAT IS GETTING WORSE EVERY DAY AT THE MOMENT. Then, if they can prove there is a NEED for .AU – the implementation process should and could be very very very very simple… Give Direct .AU to existing .COM.AU holders FOR FREE. Then, there’s no need for any sort of CUT OFF DATE for registering domains (more info on that at NameBid.com.au) and it also proves this whole thing isn’t just a “money grab” by the registrars. Very very simple.

    • Concerned

      Hear hear!

  • Suzanne

    No from us at our business.

    We love our .Com..au and so do our customers! They know it and we don’t want anyone confused or them emailing the wrong business with the same name.

    We get confidential stuff via email all the time and this may be a real problem if they get confused and email the same business name but just with the .au and not our .com.au.

    It could destroy our business and cost us and our clients a lot of money if this happens plus put sensitive email data in the hands of competitors or worse.

  • Matt

    NO from Google experts!

    We know who and is pushing this!!

    https://www.ausregistry.com.au/product-innovation-will-produce-the-next-3-million-au-domains/

    https://www.seroundtable.com/google-new-tld-myth-14878.html

    https://plus.google.com/+MattCutts/posts/4VaWg4TMM5F

    “Matt Cutts Google Top Search and SEO Expert

    I read a post by someone offering new top-level domain (TLDs). They made this claim: “Will a new TLD web address automatically be favoured by Google over a .com equivalent? Quite simply, yes it will.”

    Sorry, but that’s just not true, and as an engineer in the search quality team at Google, I feel the need to debunk this misconception. Google has a lot of experience in returning relevant web pages, regardless of the top-level domain (TLD). Google will attempt to rank new TLDs appropriately, but I don’t expect a new TLD to get any kind of initial preference over .com, and I wouldn’t bet on that happening in the long-term either. If you want to register an entirely new TLD for other reasons, that’s your choice, but you shouldn’t register a TLD in the mistaken belief that you’ll get some sort of boost in search engine rankings.”

  • Matt

    NO from Google experts!

    We know who and is pushing this!!

    https://www.ausregistry.com.au/product-innovation-will-produce-the-next-3-million-au-domains/

    https://www.seroundtable.com/google-new-tld-myth-14878.html

    https://plus.google.com/+MattCutts/posts/4VaWg4TMM5F

    “Matt Cutts Google Top Search and SEO Expert

    I read a post by someone offering new top-level domain (TLDs). They made this claim: “Will a new TLD web address automatically be favoured by Google over a .com equivalent? Quite simply, yes it will.”

    Sorry, but that’s just not true, and as an engineer in the search quality team at Google, I feel the need to debunk this misconception. Google has a lot of experience in returning relevant web pages, regardless of the top-level domain (TLD). Google will attempt to rank new TLDs appropriately, but I don’t expect a new TLD to get any kind of initial preference over .com, and I wouldn’t bet on that happening in the long-term either. If you want to register an entirely new TLD for other reasons, that’s your choice, but you shouldn’t register a TLD in the mistaken belief that you’ll get some sort of boost in search engine rankings.”

    • Also concerned

      Thanks for commenting Matt. Your engagement is welcome.

      I’m trying to frame my words carefully so as not to offend neither you nor Jim.

      SEO / new TLD issues are a relevant part of this discussion.
      I am not dismissing them.
      But they distract from the core issue.

      I want to get back to the the main point: the manager of .au appears to be pushing a significant change to the name space that has not been requested and is not required.

      Lets not distract the debate with tangential arguments….as valid as they may be.

      – There is no shortfall of names in .au.
      – Similar attempts overseas have been problematic (to say the least).
      – There is no clear, simple, bullet-proof international model upon which .au can rely.

      So why do it????

      I will donate $1000 to someone’s charity-of-choice if they can convince me that the benefits of direct .au registrations out-weigh the risks / costs.

      Yes, I know, I sound like James Randi!

      • Brecknell Media

        In most of my other comments I’m saying I can’t see anyone mentioning a genuine reason in the article or comments on why a top-level .au would be a problem, but I’m not going to blindly support the new .au if people can give me a good reason. The fact is I heard of this issue for the first time today and I am surprised by the level of concern, but I don’t have a closed mind. If you could direct me to some relevant reading material about problems overseas and how the process is similar to the proposal here, I would appreciate that. In case I miss any comment here, could you sent it through brecknellmedia.com.au/contact? Thanks very much.

      • Brecknell Media

        In most of my other comments I’m saying I can’t see anyone mentioning a genuine reason in the article or comments on why a top-level .au would be a problem, but I’m not going to blindly support the new .au if people can give me a good reason. The fact is I heard of this issue for the first time today and I am surprised by the level of concern, but I don’t have a closed mind. If you could direct me to some relevant reading material about problems overseas and how the process is similar to the proposal here, I would appreciate that. In case I miss any comment here, could you sent it through brecknellmedia.com.au/contact? Thanks very much.

      • Jim Stewart

        Agreed. I will smash AUDA argument about being “shorter” = better though. And when they start talking about brand. Businesses who do think it’s a good idea need to be made aware of all the risks and then they may not be so keen. So when the registrar industry puts sale pieces out like this https://www.marketingmag.com.au/hubs-c/new-top-level-domains-to-trump-com-in-google-search-results/ it’s a good idea to counter but yeah slightly OT for this discussion.

  • Brecknell Media

    After registering many domain names over many years for numerous businesses of my own as well as other organisations, I can’t find a single good reason in this article or in any comments I’ve read to complain about the introduction of a .au domain space.

    People are acting as if it’s a problem that they would need to compete for the .au equivalent of their existing .com.au. But why? People don’t have an automatic right to an identity in a new domain space. They never have, for decades on the internet. The issues people complaining about are mostly normal aspects of the way the internet has always worked.

    Some are afraid that .au is intended to, or would, replace .com.au as the most reputable type of Australian domain. I consider that an unrealistic fear. I see no evidence that it is intended to replace .com.au despite the misinformation in some non-authoritative articles, and I doubt anyone can control that enough to bring it about even if it was intended. So I doubt it will happen, and would be very surprised if Google gave preference to .au over .com.au in search results. And lotteries and auctions for new domain spaces don’t threaten your brand if you’ve established it soundly.

    People are complaining about having to migrate their websites across to to a new .au, complaining about having to spend more on domain names, saying it would only be fair if existing .com.au transferred across automatically, complaining about a lack of consultation, or complaining about there being no business case.

    Why? People won’t have to transfer their websites, won’t have to buy new domains, and have no basis from other domain spaces on the internet to believe that being included automatically is any kind of right.

    auDA surveyed 97,000 .com.au owners, and the results did establish a business case. Why should auDA even need a business case, given that a new domain space doesn’t threaten any existing .com.au owner’s rights?

    If you don’t want to transfer a website to a .au domain, or don’t want to spend money on such a domain, don’t do it. Staying put generally gives your site more credibility with search engines anyway. If you don’t want .au to compete with the authority of .com.au, realise that participating in .au out of panic will only contribute to an increase in the perceived authority of that space.

    In any case, no one has a right to prevent the kind of competition .au will bring.

    The article and comments reflect many unsubstantiated superstitions about how the internet works, about what is required to make the adoption of a new domain type fair, and about something sinister supposedly going on at auDA. Some people’s complaints about the release of a .au amount to saying the only way to avoid unfairness is not to release a new domain type, and therefore it should not be done. So should the whole internet never release a new top-level domain? There are only so many ways the application process for a new domain type can work. It’s made to be as fair as possible, but it’s not possible to make every last person happy about what domain names are available to them. But that’s normal for the internet as it is normal for life.

    I honestly feel sorry for auDA. People complain about auDA ignoring surveys. Not only do I have no reason to believe auDA did that, but if people widely hold false ideas about negative impacts, it may have to do so in the future for the benefit of Australia.

    • Fact check

      Please post the link to the auda surveys and results from the 97,000 you claim.

      How about auda contacts via email all 3,200,000 domain name owners now with true facts, costs, disclosure how much auda makes.

      Total Bullocks! But keep peddling the lies.

      Auda Board Directors have even written its a cash grab scam and was rigged.

      • Brecknell Media

        What lie have I peddled? I read that auDA surveyed 97,000 people and I believed it. I have no reason not to. If I had some other grounds to be suspicious of auDA, I might dig further, but I don’t. If you need to dig further, feel free. True costs? It’s as simple as this: if auDA introduces a new option for domain name registration, it will cost you nothing if you choose not to buy one. If you do choose, it will most likely cost you something similar to what most domains do.

        • Concerned

          Here’s a link to the survey: https://www.auda.org.au/assets/pdf/board/Board-market-research-results-14-04-16.pdf

          Not sure that I would say it established a business case – it only asked a question:
          “If you had the choice to register a domain name directly under .au – for example, yourname.au – how likely would you be to do so?”

          Although the survey may have been sent out to 97000 people, only 1633 people responded, so it may have been more correct to write 1633 people were surveyed.

          Here’s the link to
          https://www.auda.org.au/news/auda-to-introduce-direct-registrations-in-au/

          Note the last sentence:
          “The Board is satisfied that both the Panel’s work and the independent market research supports the view that introducing direct registrations would be of benefit to users of the .au DNS, and for this reason it has decided to proceed.”
          Hmmm….

          • Brecknell Media

            You have a point, but that’s no reason to falsely accuse me of lying. I hadn’t read that only 1633 responded. It’s not auDA’s fault that so few responded. It is true that it’s a tiny response and I agree it would be difficult to claim a business case on that basis.

          • Jim Stewart

            Yes it is James. It is definitely their fault. I reached 12,000 people with in a week with a video and no budget. It’s not that hard to let people know as you can see from the discussion here. They are actively trying to stifle conversation around this. They have no business rep on the PRP but the do have a registrar who will benefit financially. I don’t think you are reading what people are saying. Your .com.au domains are already devalued. So if you are selling a business today it’s worth slightly less now. How much less? No idea. But there has been no business case to help us understand why we have to have these losses. Companies like mine & yours will benefit of course from this. Heck I’m already ranking for ‘direct au registrations’ I’ll be ready . Were you also unaware that AUDA will be doing a big marketing & education campaign AFTER it is implemented? Why did we not have that before 2015?

          • Brecknell Media

            I was unaware of some of those things, including the conflict of interest and the intended marketing campaign after implementation. And I do agree auDA could easily reach more people and should do so. Perhaps they are trying to stifle conversation and obviously that’s a bad thing. But that doesn’t make it auDA’s fault that only a tiny proportion of the 97,000 surveyed decided to respond. And it doesn’t necessarily change whether the availability of direct registrations will have a negative impact. My business won’t benefit in any great way from the availability of direct registrations, because all I do with domain registrations is charge the registrar’s cost price plus labour for my work in registering a domain to whichever registrar a customer wants. And unless direct registrations unfold in a way that really surprises me, I would recommend a .com.au over a direct .au anyway. I disagree that direct registrations devalue my business.

          • Jim Stewart

            Well PRP member and registrar Brett Fenton is on the record as saying they will devalue. Of course it makes it AUDA’s fault if they can’t conduct a poll properly. So there will be more .au registrations. More labour charges for you. You will make more money.

          • Concerned

            I don’t think that someone should have accused you of lying.
            Emotions are high around this topic James.

            I think as you did not attend the PRP, you were also not witness to the controlled manner in which they were influencing the crowd towards implementing .au.

            I think if you were a reasonable person with the understanding you have of this space AND had attended – you would be in agreement and understand why so many people are up in arms.

            On the face of it, your points seem valid – other extentions have been added to the internet and domain name owners don’t get right of preference. The .au extention shouldn’t be stopped from coming in etc.

            The concern is that auDA has not been transparent with regards to this whole process. They have not informed the masses. And they and the registrars stand to make money from this, to the detriment of current .com.au holders.
            When auDA promote .au, it WILL affect the marketplace and will have the tendency to confuse internet users. With enough marketing effort, the dominant extension CAN begin to change to .au in consumers minds – and this will be very costly to business either defensively registering (to stop others from taking their brand) or having to pay other 2LD holders or win an auction.

            I’m sure you would agree that the fair thing to do is to inform all major stakeholders FULLY and allow them to decide. This is not what has been happening.

            If all or most domain holders were fully informed about the issues and implications at hand and were given the opportunity to vote after full information was disseminated and they chose to implement it in the auDA/PRP are proposing, the people would have spoken.
            The fact is that the above is not happening/has not happened and it stinks!

          • Brecknell Media

            Your comments are very reasonable – thank you for that. It’s true that I haven’t seen the consultation process, and I do think it would have been better for auDA to contact people more directly. But I believe I’m reasonable, too, and some of the reason I’ve made so many comments is that I believe certain concerns are unfounded. For example, one commenter writes as if a massive cost of rebranding is inevitable, as if on the basis of being forced to move from a .com.au to a .au. That’s absolutely not the case.

        • Concerned

          Here’s a link to the survey: https://www.auda.org.au/assets/pdf/board/Board-market-research-results-14-04-16.pdf

          Not sure that I would say it established a business case – it only asked a question:
          “If you had the choice to register a domain name directly under .au – for example, yourname.au – how likely would you be to do so?”

          Although the survey may have been sent out to 97000 people, only 1633 people responded, so it may have been more correct to write 1633 people were surveyed.

          Here’s the link to
          https://www.auda.org.au/news/auda-to-introduce-direct-registrations-in-au/

          Note the last sentence:
          “The Board is satisfied that both the Panel’s work and the independent market research supports the view that introducing direct registrations would be of benefit to users of the .au DNS, and for this reason it has decided to proceed.”
          Hmmm….

        • Snoopy

          The data has been heavily skewed to get the result AUDA and registrars wants. The first poll had less than 200 responses, 200 responses just the domain industry filling out the survey, not real businesses. The next poll was badly skewed by one registrar.

          AUDA is avoiding contacting all registrants because they simply do not want everyday people to know about this proposal. There is tens of millions of dollars at stake here for AUDA.

        • Snoopy

          The data has been heavily skewed to get the result AUDA and registrars wants. The first poll had less than 200 responses, 200 responses just the domain industry filling out the survey, not real businesses. The next poll was badly skewed by one registrar.

          AUDA is avoiding contacting all registrants because they simply do not want everyday people to know about this proposal. There is tens of millions of dollars at stake here for AUDA.

    • James

      Hi James Breknell You have been writing to auda for at least 13 years pushing for this.

      Some of your submissions are strange.

      How about we get BreknellMedia.au and compete against you ? Would that be ok?

      • Brecknell Media

        What on earth are you talking about concerning my writings to auDA? I’d be curious to hear what submissions you think are strange. It’s so long since I’ve written some of it that I might not be able to remember some of it. And I can’t guarantee my opinion is still the same. Good luck registering breknellmedia.au (or brecknellmedia.au, if that’s what you meant). You’ll have a hard time meeting the eligibility rules. It’s unlikely the government would allow you to register a matching business name, and my existing online presence would likely give me grounds to contest it as trademark infringement even if, without knowing of my existence, you had other legitimate grounds to register the domain. I wouldn’t enjoy having to pay the money to make that claim – I do think it’s too expensive, but that’s not a problem based on the .au proposal. That’s how the price has previously been. But despite my not liking the cost, the fact is that domain names, and the release of new domain types, have to be administered in some way or other, don’t they? And I haven’t heard of anything about the .au proposal that seems unreasonable or unusual compared to how the internet generally operates.

        • Concerned

          I seriously don’t think “James” in the above post is going to register breknellmedia.au.
          He’s making a point.
          It’s interesting that your response has contained so much emotion though – it seems you like so many here get emotional when someone can ‘unfairly’ register and/or endanger your business identity. Hmmm…. so when it affects you, you get emotional too? Interesting!

          • Brecknell Media

            Of course he’s just making a point and isn’t likely to want to register it. The only thing I got emotional about in my last response was the totally false suggestion that I’d been pushing for the current .au proposal for 13 years. Are you suggesting there’s something wrong with emotion? Neither am I. But I do suggest it’s unfortunate to have a negative emotional reaction to a proposal when so much of it is based on misinformation about how the internet works, as is clear from many of the comments. I’m not saying that excludes the possibility of finding good reason to oppose the new .au space – only that I couldn’t see any such reason from people’s comments at the time of writing.

        • Concerned

          I seriously don’t think “James” in the above post is going to register breknellmedia.au.
          He’s making a point.
          It’s interesting that your response has contained so much emotion though – it seems you like so many here get emotional when someone can ‘unfairly’ register and/or endanger your business identity. Hmmm…. so when it affects you, you get emotional too? Interesting!

        • Jim Stewart

          James it is not “unlikely” . They gave the example at the public forum of murdoch.au . They said both Murdoch Uni and Murdoch council would both be eligible. You are competing with edu.au too. So even though logically you would think it’s “unlikely” it’s not.

          • Brecknell Media

            Jim, sorry if I wasn’t clear, but I was intending to call it unlikely that someone else would be able to register a matching business name – not that a wording matching the name of a business name would unlikely be allowed in a domain name registration. In other words, if someone tried to register “Brecknell Media” as a business name, it’s unlikely to be allowed. I don’t know the exact rules concerning registrations like this in different states, but I would hope that since the nationalisation of the business name application process, it is stricter than it previously was. I’m certainly not saying another person who runs a media business – even one with a completely different name – and whose surname was Brecknell, for example, would be prohibited from registering brecknellmedia.au. I know that absolutely would be allowed under any rules for .au that match .com.au. But the pre-existence of a business such as mine, already called Brecknell Media would generally reduce other people’s motivation to establish an identity using that wording – because they can’t register a matching business name. Of course murdoch uni and Murdoch council would both be eligible. But this is nothing new. It’s how the internet has worked for a very long time. Obviously if people want to avoid competition over a domain wording, they can aim to have a unique entity name in the first place. Hence murdoch.au doesn’t have to be considered a problem for a university or a council because the wording isn’t specifically about a university or a council. Why rely on murdoch.au for your identity when other people have murdoch in a name, and when you already have a unique entity name?

          • Jim Stewart

            It’s very new James. It’s NEVER happened before. It’s not how the Internet has worked for a long time. We have had a stable domain space for over 20 years, now we’re saying lets change that? How can you say it’s nothing new? It’s the very definition of “new” I would have thought. .COM.AU is a well established and trusted brand. Now we are introducing a competing brand. I want to know why and AUDA are actively avoiding answering that question. Why do you think they are introducing it? Do you know? Every digital agency I have spoken with will make money from this, I’m sure we can agree on that.

          • Brecknell Media

            It is nothing new in that it’s normal for new domain types to be released. That’s true, and that’s all I’m saying by “this is nothing new”. And I’m implying that the rules of competition for domain registration will be much the same as for other domains. Of course the change to the .au name space is new. The fact that digital agencies will benefit doesn’t mean it’s a corrupt proposal. I figure virtually everything we disagree on comes down to the question of how important we each believe it will be for businesses to have a direct registered .au in order to compete well. We disagree on that, and I don’t think we’ll get past that. We’ll just have to agree to disagree.

          • Concerned

            James – I would like a see a proper debate between yourself and Jim on these points. I don’t seem to understand your arguments. You can’t be comparing apples with oranges. A new domain TLD extension compared to the .AU coming in are different. Your comparisons seem foolish to me.

          • Brecknell Media

            I do know that new TLDs and direct registration on .au are different.

          • Brecknell Media

            I feel I’ve spent enough time here now, but if you would like to discuss anything further, feel free to contact me through brecknellmedia.com.au/contact.

          • Jim Stewart

            No. We have not had a new domain space in Australia. It’s not normal as you say. It’s new. And as I have already pointed out the rules will not be “much the same” they will be entirely different. I am not saying it’s corrupt because agencies will make more money, I am pointing out Australian business owners will be the ones paying that money. I disagree with several of your assertions which I have shown to be false. I am saying this is been introduced without a proper business case and AUDA is actively stifling debate on the subject.

          • Brecknell Media

            While I’d prefer that you avoided arguing against what I’m not saying, I accept that my “much the same” may have been ambiguous. I was referring to the fact that there will be a process determining who gets new domains that will be much the same as the way many other new domain name types on the internet have been determined. There is only a certain range of options concerning how to do it and they are, indeed, aspects of the normal way the internet operates. If auDA is stifling debate, I agree that is a bad thing.

          • Brecknell Media

            It is nothing new in that it’s normal for new domain types to be released. That’s true, and that’s all I’m saying by “this is nothing new”. And I’m implying that the rules of competition for domain registration will be much the same as for other domains. Of course the change to the .au name space is new. The fact that digital agencies will benefit doesn’t mean it’s a corrupt proposal. I figure virtually everything we disagree on comes down to the question of how important we each believe it will be for businesses to have a direct registered .au in order to compete well. We disagree on that, and I don’t think we’ll get past that. We’ll just have to agree to disagree.

        • Vote No

          We we definitely register breknellmedia.au and all of your other 20 names as .au now if this comes in

          Then u can try the auda process and $50,000 in lawyers..for 2 years and still not get them.

          Then u may understand.

          100% we will do this as a good example case

          Re read all of your auda submissions… we did.

      • Brecknell Media

        I found the auDA submission of mine about suggestion a plain .au domain type. Mentioning it in one submission in 2006 is hardly “pushing for this” “for at least 13 years”! The reason I suggested it then was because at that time, an Australian registrant wanting to register a domain identifiable as an Australian domain but only for personal purposes simply could not do so. The only available domain types ending in .au had eligibility requirements beyond those of an individual – eg required a business, incorporated association or similar. I suggested a .au so it could be limited to Australians but used for any purpose. This is different from what’s being proposed now, which I heard about for the first time today.

      • Brecknell Media

        I found the auDA submission of mine about suggestion a plain .au domain type. Mentioning it in one submission in 2006 is hardly “pushing for this” “for at least 13 years”! The reason I suggested it then was because at that time, an Australian registrant wanting to register a domain identifiable as an Australian domain but only for personal purposes simply could not do so. The only available domain types ending in .au had eligibility requirements beyond those of an individual – eg required a business, incorporated association or similar. I suggested a .au so it could be limited to Australians but used for any purpose. This is different from what’s being proposed now, which I heard about for the first time today.

    • Concerned

      A couple of questions:
      1) Did you attend any of the PRP presentations?
      2) Hypothetical –
      So I’m sure your brand brecknellmedia.com.au doesn’t have the equivalent .net.au .id.au .asn.au etc. registered for it – so this issue probably won’t affect your website/brand however if your .com.au brand did in fact have the same name registered in other 2LD’s, and there was a lottery to determine who gets the .au or you had to pay the the owners of the other 2LD’s for the right to own the .com.au, equivalent for the .au, would you be OK with that?
      IF a new extention comes in, do you not think that auDA will not be promoting the merits of it in the media and all over the place? I think they will – they have a budget for that. Don’t you think that will provide confusion for the general public and websites that will be affected?
      Come on man – Did someone at auDA request you to write this response?

      • Brecknell Media

        I’ve written my honest opinion from my experience with the internet. Why would you think auDA put me up to this? No, I didn’t attend any PRP presentations. I heard of this whole issue for the first time only a few hours ago, and have been reading about it since, mainly because I’m surprised about the hysteria. I don’t have .net.au or .id.au registered for Brecknell Media because I don’t like them. I do have brecknellmedia.com, brecknellmedia.net and brecknell.media. Someone else could register brecknellmedia.au. So in other words, I am in the situation you seem to suggest I’m not in. And I am okay with it. I will most likely aim to register brecknellmedia.au because a domain name price is a small one to pay to prevent the potential of confused identity. I’m not worried about an auction that might require paying a high price to secure brecknellmedia.au because, as I said in my initial post, a well established brand isn’t threatened by a new domain space. I’m a tiny, tiny brand and I’m still not threatened. I’m not pretending there’s no potential for confusion or the dilution of a business’s identity through someone else’s registration of a similar domain name. But that’s always been the way the internet is, and I don’t expect a new .au space to change that, especially since .au will be such an afterthought compared to the well-established .com.au.

        • Concerned

          “I will most likely aim to register brecknellmedia.au because a domain name price is a small one to pay to prevent the potential of confused identity”

          I know a number of businesses that own 20 or more domain names – some of them still relatively small.
          So if they had to pay an additional charge to ‘prevent the potential of confused identity’ – would you say that was fair? We have no idea of what that charge will be?
          I’m not sure when you will start to get this.

          Just because it doesn’t affect you doesn’t mean it won’t affect others.

          • Brecknell Media

            I own more than 20 domains myself. Maybe you don’t get it. Those businesses don’t have to register those names. If it was a large price I wouldn’t pay it. I’ve already said in a comment that I wouldn’t if buying required an expensive auction win. And that wouldn’t bother me, because the potential for confused identity is small. Confusion happens to web users who don’t understand basic things about the internet or can’t be bothered to look at a site to see who owns it. Some time, now that we’re decades into the use of the internet, we need to decide that it’s reasonable to expect people to know that a different URL spelling could involove a different entity, especially since that’s already widespread. And of course it’s fair. The same rules apply to everyone.

        • Concerned

          “I will most likely aim to register brecknellmedia.au because a domain name price is a small one to pay to prevent the potential of confused identity”

          I know a number of businesses that own 20 or more domain names – some of them still relatively small.
          So if they had to pay an additional charge to ‘prevent the potential of confused identity’ – would you say that was fair? We have no idea of what that charge will be?
          I’m not sure when you will start to get this.

          Just because it doesn’t affect you doesn’t mean it won’t affect others.

    • Concerned

      “After registering many domain names over many years for numerous businesses of my own as well as other organisations, I can’t find a single good reason in this article or in any comments I’ve read to complain about the introduction of a .au domain space.”
      I would love to talk to your clients that you have registered domains for over the years (especially those that will be affected with competing 2LD’s) and see if they agree with your comments.

      • Brecknell Media

        I’ve only registered domains for a few clients. Most have been for my own businesses and community organisations, so there probably wouldn’t be a great deal to learn from it.

        • Mud

          How many domains do you own in .au, .uk, .nz, .com etc etc

          There are over 1800 domain extensions now.

          People have lied .com.au has none left.. 3 million .au now and 180 million .com registered….

          Complain we need another extension when we get to 180 million .au registered

          Its Hilarious. The spin they try

        • Concerned

          Do any of your clients have competing .au domains? If not, it seems to discredit the first sentence of your argument. It’s a moot point if your clients aren’t affected!
          The point that most in this article are debating is in regards to those that actually will be affected by the change (which is a significant number).
          If you are not affected, I’m not sure why you have such a strong argument. It seems either you have no empathy for those that are affected, or are completely missing the point.

          I’m assuming that you you are referring to new tld’s that have been created when you bring this point up:
          “People don’t have an automatic right to an identity in a new domain space.”
          To emphasize a point – we are not talking about a new random TLD here – we are talking about the Australian domain space, it’s significant if the direct .au is brought in and it will affect businesses that are already in this space very differently to another .XX extension. If this is what you are referring to in your argument, I say compare apples with apples, or elaborate with an example with regards to your statement.

          • Brecknell Media

            Actually, yes, not a client exactly but a community organisation I did some voluntary web work for. Someone else has the .com.au for their acronymn, so they registered the .asn.au. But that was eventually deregistered because .asn.au can seem obscure. They might value the chance to register a .au because it would give them a short domain with a less obscure ending.

  • Michael H.

    NO from us at BudgetDirect.com.au

    Makes no sense..just more problems and confusion.

    • Jim Stewart

      Well the ONLY way it makes sense I guess is if you follow the money.

    • Jim Stewart

      Well the ONLY way it makes sense I guess is if you follow the money.

  • TimesUpBoardman

    As far as I’m concerned. the buck stops with Cameron Boardman CEO.
    If he is not acting in the public’s best interest – which seems to be the case – oust him!
    You are here to represent us Cameron Boardman – are you representing everyone’s best interest or just the registrars? Is this about making more money for auDA/the registrars or are you really about improving the .au space?
    People are seeing through what has been going on. There’s lots of information getting out there now, and people want answers.
    The fact that you are not informing the masses speaks volumes. Let all affected parties know what is going on!
    I agree with some of the comments below – if .au comes in, it should be free (forever) for the .com.au. I think most agree though – it’s not a good idea to bring it in, the downside is far greater than the upside.

    • Curious

      Who is Cameron Boardman? Is the responsible? Why don’t they just sack him if he is in charge and it’s not working?

  • Rigged auda surveys :)

    Greed

    ..another wafer biscuit? Monte Python

  • Concerned

    These are VERY interesting:
    1. grumpy.com.au campaign from 2 years ago about issues at auDA:
    https://web.archive.org/web/20170801030415/http://www.grumpy.com.au:80/

    2. http://www.afr.com/brand/rear-window/dissident-members-force-rethink-at-auda-20170803-gxodo9

    You’d think auDA have learned their lessons about transparency from what happened in 2017?

    • William

      auDA CEO Cameron Boardman will not leave until he is sacked. Its a gravy train.

      Cant seem to find any professional information on him or a profile on Linked?

      What is he hiding? Seems very odd?

      There was some old thing about a stint in Hong Kong…and the Failed .Melbourne extension?

      No way should he stay…That may be the problem.

    • William

      auDA CEO Cameron Boardman will not leave until he is sacked. Its a gravy train.

      Cant seem to find any professional information on him or a profile on Linked?

      What is he hiding? Seems very odd?

      There was some old thing about a stint in Hong Kong…and the Failed .Melbourne extension?

      No way should he stay…That may be the problem.

  • Lou Lou

    Knock knock…

    Chose there?

    Removalists.

    Removalists who?

    Removalists for you!

    • Danny

      You mean Whose there..but we get it haha butter fingers

  • Jim Stewart

    Some clarification: We have been told trademarks and rules that apply to .com.au . Will not apply to .AU This means individuals with no trademark can apply. An example that was given was Murdoch council and Murdoch Uni could both go after murdoch.au or health.gov.au & health.com.au could both go after health.au . No date for implementation has been set. This decision CAN BE REVERSED. But we need your help.

  • Joey

    Corrupt! Rigged! Scam!

    Will they be stopped from completely ruining the very strong and respected .au name space?

    Even foreigners know and respect out .Com.au

    The Board and Auda need to be fired if they do not stop this madness cash grab!

    https://www.auda.org.au/about-auda/our-org/board/

    auDA Board

    About the auDA Board

    The auDA Board is constituted as per Section 18
    of the auDA Constitution. The Board is made up of four (4) directors
    elected by Supply Class Members; four (4) directors elected by Demand
    Class Members; the auDA CEO (as a non-voting member of the Board); and
    up to three (3) Independent Directors appointed by the Elected
    Directors.

    Current Directors

    Name and Class

    Term

    Chris Leptos AM
    Chair
    Independent

    11/2017 – 11/2019

    Erhan Karabardak
    (Domo Digital)
    Supply Class

    28/11/2016 – 2018 AGM

    Tim Connell
    Demand Class

    28/11/2016 – 2018 AGM

    James Deck
    (1300WebPro)
    Supply Class

    27/11/2017 – 2019 AGM

    Suzanne Ewart
    Independent

    11/2017 – 11/2019

    Sandra Hook
    Independent

    19/04/2017 – 19/04/2019

    Joe Manariti
    (SWiM Communications)
    Supply Class

    28/11/2016 – 2018 AGM

    Nicole Murdoch
    Demand Class

    27/11/2017 – 2019 AGM

    Ned O’Meara
    Demand Class

    30/11/2017 – 2019 AGM

    Grant Wiltshire
    Supply Class

    27/11/2017 – 2019 AGM

    Demand Class Director

    Vacant

    Board Committees

    The Board has established the following standing committees:

    Governance Committee: Sandra Hook (Chair), Erhan Karabardak, Tim Connell

    Security and Risk Committee: Suzanne Ewart (Interim Chair), Grant Wiltshire, Joe Manariti

    Recruitment Committee: Sandra Hook, Erhan Karabardak, Tim Connell

    Advisory Committees

    The Board has established the following Advisory Committees:

    Member Constitutional Advisory Committee
    Established
    to review and make recommendations on potential reforms to ensure
    auDA’s Constitution reflects the organisation’s purpose and values

    Security and Stability Advisory Committee
    The role of the SSAC is
    to advise and inform auDA on all matters pertaining to the security and
    stability of the .au domain space: in review

    auDA Director remuneration schedule

    Effective 27 October 2014

    Independent Director
    Annual Remuneration: $40,000

    Elected Director
    Fee per meeting (Board only*): $1,000

    *Fees are not paid for attendance at Committee meetings.

    Under
    clause 5h. of the auDA Constitution remuneration of directors is
    approved by ordinary resolution of the members of auDA in general
    meeting. The last review of director remuneration was in 2014 and was
    approved by member vote, with 100% of supply class votes and 93% of
    demand class votes.

    Past Directors Name
    Period
    Stuart Benjamin
    14/11/2016 – 31/07/2017
    Larry Bloch
    19/04/1999 – 07/10/1999
    27/11/2003 – 18/11/2005
    Chris Chaundy
    19/04/1999 – 11/11/2002
    Vic Cinc
    19/04/1999 – 07/10/1999
    Chris Connolly
    19/04/1999 – 07/10/1999
    Patrick Corliss
    05/12/2000 – 11/11/2002
    Greg Crew
    04/09/2000 – 12/02/2007
    Ric da Paz
    14/04/2003 – 08/11/2004
    Sandra Davey
    03/05/1999 – 07/10/1999
    Kim Davies
    19/04/1999 – 18/11/2005
    Peter Dean
    26/11/2001 – 27/11/2003
    Roger Dean
    18/11/2005 – 12/02/2007
    Kevin Dinn
    07/10/1999 – 05/12/2000
    Marty Drill
    23/11/2006 – 12/11/2012
    Brett Fenton
    18/11/2005 – 22/10/2007
    Gavin Gibson
    17/02/2017 – 27/11/2017
    David Goldstein
    18/11/2005 – 22/10/2007
    Julie Hammer
    12/02/2007 – 17/08/2016
    Ian Halson
    26/09/2017 – 27/11/2017
    Kim Heitman
    19/04/1999 – 12/11/2012
    Mark Hughes
    19/04/1999 – 05/12/2000
    Simon Johnson
    28/11/2016 – 24/11/2017
    David Keegel
    07/10/1999 – 27/11/2003
    Amin Kroll
    22/10/2007 – 17/10/2011
    Cheryl Langdon-Orr
    11/11/2002 – 27/10/2014
    Paul Levins
    17/10/2011 – 30/11/2015
    Graham McDonald
    18/02/2008 – 20/06/2016
    Michael Malone
    19/04/1999 – 14/04/2003
    Iain Morrison
    19/04/1999 – 26/11/2001
    Peter Nissen
    27/11/2003 – 18/11/2005
    Bennett Oprysa
    08/11/2004 – 20/10/2008
    George Pongas
    19/10/2009 – 27/11/2017
    Dr. Michaella Richards
    10/10/2016 – 14/08/2017
    Erica Roberts
    07/10/1999 – 26/11/2001
    Joshua Rowe
    26/11/2001 – 30/11/2015
    Peter Shilling
    23/11/2006 – 22/10/2007
    Rosemary Sinclair
    19/10/2009 – 17/10/2011
    Tony Steven
    22/10/2007 – 19/10/2009
    David Thompson
    19/04/1999 – 26/11/2001
    Dwayne Varey
    20/10/2008 – 12/11/2012
    Greg Watson
    19/04/1999 – 23/11/2006
    Liz Williams
    05/12/2000 – 11/11/2002
    Alex Woerndle
    22/10/2007 – 19/10/2009
    Miguel Wood
    30/11/2015 – 08/08/2016
    Kartic Srinivasan
    30/11/2015 – 31/01/2017
    Tony Staley
    04/09/2000 – 31/01/2017
    Leonie Walsh
    10/10/2016 – 14/08/2017

  • Curtis

    I do not want to pay more. I want to pay less from these people!

    This is a cash grab by crooks

    I never even heard of them until now and we have all been paying them for years with some hidden fee and taxes of their’s in our .au domain names costs?

  • Q Lounge

    Self Regulation doesn’t work when there is collusion between suppliers to rip off people it seems?

    How do they regulate themselves exactly? Mes no sense when it comes to them choosing what to do for their own benefits and profits.

    I just googled this auda thing. I thought it was Government but it’s not. Its a dodgy ” Not For Profit”.

    Crazy they have gotten away with it for so long. Shut it down.

    • Jim Stewart

      If it goes under control of Govt that means whomever is in power can shut websites down. It must be self regulated I think part of the problem is that AUDA only has a few hundred members but we have 2.5 million domain names. We need more involvement from domain name owners, not from govt. Business chambers, industry groups etc should be members

  • Paris Girl

    I’m very happy with my .Com.au thanks. That will do me. My customers know it now and I’m not wasting any more money changing.

    I employ 13 staff and 8 casuals. Not costs means they have to work harder or I put my prices up.

    No thanks Auda.org.au !

  • Jodie

    Lock them up!

    Too much bad history with auDA.org.au Their carnage is all over the internet.

    How can you have 98% staff turnover in 2 years then make things even worse! The CEO was a failed Liberal Party Politician who needed a job so the Liberal Party Minister Fifield his mate helped get him this to stuff up.

    The Minister needs to go also over this mess.

    Someone should check their phone records, communications and emails between each other!

    • Concerned

      Hmmm… if this is true then the minister may have some answering to do.
      I would assume that they would scapegoat Cameron Boardman when this gets out into the mainstream, even if the “push” had come from above him.
      Large media’s ears are pricking so it’s just a matter of time now.

  • ““In addition to the public consultations by the panel, auDA’s board also commissioned independent market research, which showed that 60% of respondents were likely or highly likely to register “yourname.au” if it was available,” am auDA spokesperson said.”

    Of course they will, because if you don’t someone else will – and people that make a mistake and forget, or add, the .com before the .au will get the wrong site. This is a great example of asking the “stupid” question — of course it’s stupid, because it got them the answer they wanted.

    The only winners are auDAs bottom lines and that of the domain registrars.. and this is coming from someone who is a hosting provider and thus stands to make money from the introduction in the same way. It’s a terrible idea – it’s just going to confuse to everyone and waste a lot of time.

    I seriously can’t believe they’re still pushing it. They talk about commercial pressure on the space – fine – but literally all this is doing is making everyone pay more money to get the same extra name for their business. No one wants a situation where the .com.au and .au are different companies. I would much rather they simply raise the wholesale price if that is the real issue — of course — that mostly benefits auDA as all the wholesalers are on a race to the bottom to be just above auDAs high price despite not having the cost of providing customer support.

    It really is so stupid 🙁

  • Speak Up

    Looks like they are trying to hold another meeting to sell the idea to more people?

    Would be great to hear some opposing informed views have the floor also to speak! They shot Jim Stewart down unfairly in Melbourne at the auDA PRP Public meeting.

    Strange to see them working together on this? Is the PRP really independent from auDA and interested in existing .au domain name owner rights? I have my doubts

    http://www.ipsanz.com.au/news-events/events-by-location/victoria/

  • Speak Up

    Looks like they are trying to hold another meeting to sell the idea to more people?

    Would be great to hear some opposing informed views have the floor also to speak! They shot Jim Stewart down unfairly in Melbourne at the auDA PRP Public meeting.

    Strange to see them working together on this? Is the PRP really independent from auDA and interested in existing .au domain name owner rights? I have my doubts

    http://www.ipsanz.com.au/news-events/events-by-location/victoria/

  • Concerned

    Hi James – not sure if you saw this:

    Concerned Brecknell Media • 2 hours ago
    James – An open question to you:
    Are you in any way connected personally, via family or business connection to anyone at auDA?
    I’d appreciate your honest response.

  • Lynette Delane

    “auDA’s board also commissioned independent market research, which showed
    that 60% of respondents were likely or highly likely to register
    “yourname.au” if it was available,””.

    Well duh – of course we’ll try to buy it for our own business so that no one else can.

    • auDA survey Yes Vote Rigging t

      Where can we fact check their 60% claim and all the votes….Most where the fake yes votes from a big registrar group numbering thousands!!

      I bet the IP addresses of the yes votes help prove the fraud.

      The questions also where totally slanted to give the yes vote.

      Now people see it was a scam..

    • Snoopy

      Exactly right Lynette, the poll needs to be about whether people actually want it. This new extension is all about brand owners having no choice but to buy the matching .au name to their .com.au. Registrars will be sending out emails telling business owners to register before come else does.

  • Charlie

    Hopefully someone at Auda.org.au fixes things quickly in house and with this policy review panel blunders.

    Too many mistakes for too long. It’s hurting businesses and hurting the .au name space badly.

  • Banjo Pat

    More costs…why auda.com.au ?

    • Concerned

      More Australian’s need to be asking this question!
      Hilarious that you wrote auda.COM.AU.
      I think it goes to show that most of us consider .com.au to be the prevailing extention in Austalia.

    • Concerned

      More Australian’s need to be asking this question!
      Hilarious that you wrote auda.COM.AU.
      I think it goes to show that most of us consider .com.au to be the prevailing extention in Austalia.

  • Banjo Pat

    More costs…why auda.com.au ?

  • R R

    I agree with others. Without a proper explanation from AUDA, I consider this a money grab. I doubt it is a charitable or needs based decision. Also consider the fact that many businesses will buy the .au version to protect their brand, so that becomes pointless.

    • Jim Stewart

      Well AUDA are a not for profit with $21 million in the bank. So they are not short of cash.

      • Snoopy

        They are also refusing to state the new wholesale pricing of .com.au names. Apparently they want to keep a much bigger piece of the pie from existing names as well by not passing on price reductions.

        They want $50million…$100 million in the bank. Never ends and it will never be enough for AUDA.

        • Very concerned!

          Let me guess – they want more money in the bank to fund the marketing campaign to promote the .AU to consumers, bringing in more confusion and forcing more business owners to defensively have to register the .AU.
          Does anyone have any figures on which .UK / .NZ businesses are actually using the new direct registration as their main website?
          I’ve only seen it used as a redirect to the .co.uk or .co.nz pages respectively.

      • R R

        Not sure what you mean by that? Are you saying there is no motive for making money from this?

        • Jim Stewart

          Good god no

          • R R

            Lol. OK. Just clarifying. Thanks.

  • Jim Stewart

    2015 NAMES POLICY PANEL ISSUES PAPER, APRIL 2015

    “However, the Panel is clear that merely taking an “everyone else is doing it so why don’t we?” approach without properly evaluating the benefits and risks of change would not be a responsible way forward.”

    Please show us how you have assessed the risks AUDA because you are not listening to people who know what they are.

    “the Panel notes that it might also increase confusion and reduce clarity for Internet users. It is suggested that users generally understand what the existing 2LDs mean and what they are for, whereas registrations directly under .au would not have the same intuitive meaning” – I was told I was a stupid as I looked for suggesting this at the AUDA public forum.

    “The Panel is aware that widespread defensive registrations would undermine the benefits of introducing direct registrations – not only would it be costly and inconvenient for existing registrants” They know you will have to register.
    https://www.auda.org.au/assets/pdf/2015npp-issues-paper.pdf

    • Very concerned!

      Oh goodness me.
      It is plain as day what is going on here. Plain as day!
      Any rational, reasonable person presented with ALL the facts can see right through what auDA is doing here.
      I really hope there is a public forum where they explain themselves.
      This is Australia. We are a democracy – how on Earth can “cartel” behaviour like this be allowed to carry on in this day and age?
      As far as I’m concerned to paraphrase big brother:
      “CAMERON BOARDMAN – it’s time for you to leave the building!”

    • Fire Them All

      They dont listen.They Lie

      Time for Senator Mitch Fifield to lose his job over this. It is under his Portfolio to manage.

      He got his Liberal Party mates the jobs at auDA.org.au now look at the mess.

      Sack them all. The internet will actually still keep going!

      How much does auda and their foundation make from us all every day?

      A disgraceful scam.

    • Fire Them All

      They dont listen.They Lie

      Time for Senator Mitch Fifield to lose his job over this. It is under his Portfolio to manage.

      He got his Liberal Party mates the jobs at auDA.org.au now look at the mess.

      Sack them all. The internet will actually still keep going!

      How much does auda and their foundation make from us all every day?

      A disgraceful scam.

  • Concerned

    For those of you genuinely concerned about how auDA’s plans will affect you I suggest you read all the comments below and get a feel for everyone’s concerns.
    Please send your submissions in to auDA with your views on the above, and spread the word about this – ALOT OF PEOPLE AFFECTED DO NOT HAVE A CLUE ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENING.
    Voice your concerns by Friday 2nd March: policy.r[email protected]

    Issues Paper:
    https://www.auda.org.au/assets/Policies/PRP-Issues-Paper-Registrant-Policy-January-2018.pdf

    • Jim Stewart

      For those of us that want to stop this, until we at the very least hear a business case and economic impact statement, stay tuned to Smartcompany and spread the word to all your networks. Share this article where you can.

  • Robert Kaay

    Great article Emma. This can all be made very simple. auDA can now clearly see their appointed PRP has completely “bumbled” this up. They need to demand the PRP present their final proposal in writing so they can deny it. What is taking them so long? This will quickly stop further damage to the .COM.AU brand THAT IS GETTING WORSE EVERY DAY AT THE MOMENT. Then, if they can prove there is a NEED for .AU – the implementation process should and could be very very very very simple… Give Direct .AU to existing .COM.AU holders FOR FREE. Then, there’s no need for any sort of CUT OFF DATE for registering domains (more info on that at NameBid.com.au) and it also proves this whole thing isn’t just a “money grab” by the registrars, or by auDA themselves. Very very simple.

  • Jim Stewart

    I have contacted the ACCI, VCCI, NSW Chamber, CEDA, COSBOA and none of them know about this. Literally the first item on the agenda when the panel was formed, was to get a business rep on the panel. If they can’t even do that, why are they there? Also Ed Husic brought this up in Parliament today.

  • Grumpier

    Time to take action against the unfairness @ auDA:
    Please sign the petition @ grumpier.com.au
    Enough is enough!