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Melbourne IT calls for a friendlier .com.au

Melbourne IT calls for a friendlier .com.au

Melbourne IT chief technical officer Bruce Tonkin has urged domain name administrator auDA to remove a number of restrictions currently holding back the utility of the .com.au domain space.

Tonkin called for the auDA, currently reviewing the .com.au domain policy, to remove restrictions on registering multiple domain names, derivatives from company trading names and generic and geographic names.

At present, businesses are not able to register multiple domain names, preventing domain name registers and resellers from significant revenue opportunities. Businesses are also unable to register derivative names from their trading names. As an alternative, companies are registering Australian Business Names, in order to have the right to register a domain name that differs from the trading name of the company.

"From our experience, we have found that many applicants do not want a domain name that is an exact match of their commercial name," said Tonkin. "More than 40 per cent of the rejected applications are due to the name not being derived according to the derivation rules. Usually domain-name registrants want something shorter and with easier customer recall, so ideally there needs to be allowance for names other than those that are matches to the trading name."

These comments echo similar sentiments expressed by one of the auDA's own directors, Erika Roberts, when she spoke to ARN in late November. Roberts, also a member of ICANN's name council, claimed the auDA's first report into the .com.au space failed to recognise some of the barriers to making the space attractive to potential registrants. The auDA's Names Policy Advisory Panel will consider these public responses to its report and issue a follow-up report early next year.

"There are international benchmarks that Australia is up against and we must proactively address these issues if the .au space is to grow and represent this country's businesses domestically and internationally," said Tonkin.


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