Today’s blog post looks inside .au Domain Administration’s 2019-20 Annual Report, released last week. We provide a breakdown of some key components of the report and address major projects for the year ahead. We also touch on the role played by Afilias in ensuring security and stability of the .au namespace and provide an update on the progress of direct, second level registration.
A year of improvement
Alan Cameron AO and Rosemary Sinclair AM, Chair and CEO of .au Domain Administration (auDA) each provide their own detailed pre-report summary, highlighting how the organisation has improved over the past year and addressing areas of focus for the year ahead. Both leaders emphasise their commitment to ensuring a safe, robust and resilient .au ccTLD for the benefit of all Australians through their investment in a multi-stakeholder approach and the modernisation of the licensing and policy framework.
Looking at the number of total domains under management, the report shows that on 30 June 2020 there were a total of 3,180,395, about equal to the same time the year prior. Importantly, the creation of new .au domains increased significantly on the year before (2020: 56,132, 2019: 41,467) particularly over the April-June period, as shown by the diagram below:
Image: New .au domains by month (auDA 2019-20 Annual Report, page 17)
Building for the future
Rosemary Sinclair AM recognises that this year was an extraordinary year for auDA and the entire Australian community, with challenges never seen before including the 2019-20 bushfire season and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reflecting as an organisation on opportunities to build for the future, the report lists a number of significant projects that continue its work of innovating and driving change within the .au namespace, including:
- The review and modernisation of the licensing framework in preparation for direct .au registration;
- Launch of the com.au campaign and general awareness launch;
- Review of the auDA Strategic Plan;
- Development of a new auDA website and;
- Independent review of dispute resolution and compliance.
As Rosemary explains, this work will contribute to the push for ongoing positive change and transparency that is required by auDA to move forward in the management of the .au namespace.
Security and stability
Arguably one of the most crucial elements to auDA’s success is the security and stability of the .au ccTLD, something which, now in our third year as the registry operator for .au, Afilias is critical to ensuring. This is demonstrated by a commitment of ongoing internal training and the implementation of standards such as ISO 27001 and ISO 22301, which we achieved in early 2019 and confirmed in 2020 by an external annual audit.
The volume of DNS traffic handled by the registry is also included in the report, which reveals that traffic on the Afilias servers increased in the 2019-2020 period. This traffic is measured by the number of queries per second (qps) that pass through servers in Afilias’ Global DNS network. The average qps in 2019/2020 was 19,400, up 22% from 15,859 the year prior. This indicates the growing popularity and use of the .au domain name as more businesses seek a local, trusted online presence.
Direct .au registration
A highly anticipated area of development for the Australian Internet community is the launch of direct, second level registration for .au domain names. As highlighted on page 12, the introduction of direct registration will mean that, like all other OECD countries, Australians will have the option of registering a shorter name immediately before the .au (for example example.au), in addition to other .au namespaces (eg com.au, org.au).
“Direct registration provides consumers, organisations, and businesses with more choice of namespaces, which is particularly important as the online economy continues to develop and more of the community want to have an online presence.” Although a launch date is yet to be announced, auDA expects the process for implementation to progress considerably in 2020/2021.
Afilias congratulates auDA on the milestones achieved in the past year. We are incredibly proud to work alongside auDA as their registry partner and in ensuring the delivery of a fast, reliable and secure namespace for all Australians.
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