auDA requests tenders for second-level domains


The industry self-regulatory body for the '.au' domain, auDA, has issued a request for tenders for the provision of domain name registry services for seven '.au' second-level domains (2LDs), including '', '', '' and ''. The cut-off date for tender responses was November 12.

The tender request followed the recommendations of auDA's Competition Model Advisory Panel. This panel was formed to investigate the introduction of competition for domain name services in the '.au' domain space.

Chris Disspain, auDA's CEO, said in a media release on October 26 that "this is the first step in the formal process of introducing competition into the '.au' domain space, and will benefit consumers and industry alike, ensuring a better quality of service at a lower price."

The key features of the tender model are:

  • Registry operators will be appointed to supply wholesale domain name services for a particular 2LD.

  • Registry operators may bid for multiple 2LDs.

  • The central database of '.au' names will be maintained by registry operators.

  • The supply of retail domain name services will be a separate function undertaken by auDA-approved registrars.

  • Registrars may sell domain names in all 2LDs.

  • Registry operators must adhere to technical standards and consumer safeguards.

  • auDA will continue to be responsible for regulating industry conduct.

Cheng Lim, Partner and Jennifer Hibbert, Mallesons Stephen Jaques, Melbourne

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