Resellers in the .au domain name space will come under greater scrutiny after auDA introduced new regulations this week.
Under the new rules, the .au Domain Administration (auDA) will audit the Web sites of resellers it deems to have high market impact. Registrars will identify these resellers according to the number of domains managed, queries received and marketing activity.
Jo Lim, chief policy officer at auDA, said the program was expected to begin "around January".
The auDA will continue to audit registrars' Web sites.
The audit of reseller Web sites foreshadows an auDA compliance mark, which would be issued when "we can be reasonably sure that it will have real meaning in the marketplace", auDA said.
The administrator will also ask for resellers' email addresses to set up an auDA reseller mail list.
This would take the form of media releases and consumer alerts, auDA said.
The changes follow auDA's continued battles with Chesley Rafferty, whose domain name businesses have been the subject of many auDA consumer alerts alleging deceptive practice.
In August, the administrator launched a class action in the Federal Court against Rafferty's Domain Names Australia Pty Ltd, alleging deceptive mailouts.
However, the changes are not all bad for resellers.
Registrars no longer have to pay a notification fee to auDA to appoint a reseller. While auDA must still be notified under the new regulations, the removal of the fee could mean registrars take less time to appoint resellers.
Another regulatory change is in the wording of the Registrar Agreement. This would give the administrator the discretion to hold a registrar responsible for its reseller on a case-by-case basis, auDA said.