In a recent announcement, auDA stated that a new domain namespace will become available on 24 March 2022 for .au direct. With the new extension, you can register your domain name directly preceding .au, for example, mycompany.au.
The .au direct names will be similar to domain names registered in other existing namespaces (e.g., com.au, org.au, net.au, id.au, etc). There will be no changes to the existing namespaces, which will continue to operate as usual.
Priority Allocation Process
You can also apply for the exact match of any existing .au domain name you are a registrant of. These names will be allocated according to the Priority Allocation Process. In case you already have a .au name in another namespace e.g. com.au, org.au. , you can apply from 24 March until 20 September 2022, a six-month timeframe, to apply for its exact .au direct match. The six months is known as the Priority Application Period.
Meanwhile, the exact matches will be put on Priority Hold for the Priority Application Period. This move will be to prevent them from being registered by others. Also, it will give existing registrants the first opportunity to register (Priority Status) the exact match of their existing domain names.
What is the benefit of .au direct?
The new .au direct namespace is shorter and more precise. A Domain name reflects your brand’s web presence, hence a good domain name will compel the audience to visit your website. The .au direct namespace will be a memorable asset to your business to boost your brand identity
The .au direct names will bring Australia in line with many other country codes Top Level Domains including Canada (.ca), the USA (.us), the United Kingdom (.uk), and New Zealand (.nz).
The .com.au or .org.au eligibility requirements have definite allocation criteria. However, the registration of the new .au direct domain names will be easier. They will be available to anyone who has an Australian presence or local connection to Australia. As a result, the new .au direct domain name will be available to a larger scope of businesses than before.
If you are looking to register with the new .au direct domain names, here is a checklist:
- Review that your current domain name registration details are up to date, especially if you are looking to claim priority on the .au direct namespace.
- You must seek trademark protection for your brand, as it will not just make your domain name exclusive, it could be the deciding factor in domain name disputes.