Potential Australian registrants will be able to licence shorter domain names ending with .au. from March 24 next year, following a multi-year process with public consultation and an independent policy review.
Afilias, which has been appointed to manage the .au registry operations, today announced the launch date, saying the new direct namespace brings Australia in line with other countries such as New Zealand (.nz), UK (.uk), the US (.us) and Canada (.ca) which already have the shorter country-specific codes.
Having a direct or second-level namespace allows Australian individuals and organisations to licence short and eye-catching domain names that are easier to type and display on mobile devices, auDA said.
The new namespace is in addition to the existing Australian Internet ones such as .com.au, .net.au, .org.au, asn.au and id.au that Australia's domain administrator auDA manages.
As recommend by a 2019 independent policy review panel, and following public consultation, auDA will offer existing domain name licence holders first dibs on corresponding names in the direct .au name space.
Names in the .au will be available to anyone with a verified Australian presence, from participating auDA accredited registrars.