AU Priority Allocation Process

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October 27, 2021

Domains 3 min read

A Quick Guide to the .AU Priority Allocation Process 

There is a lot in a name. And, as far as online branding goes, the shorter the name, the better!

In fact, whether or not your brand name will generate traction online depends largely on how catchy and memorable your website domain name is.

Keeping this in view, authorities in Australia are ready to launch the much-awaited .au direct programme, a move that could help new and existing businesses publish shorter web addresses.

About the .AU Launch

Come March 2021, Australian-registered organizations would be able to go online with shorter domain addresses. This means you can register your brand or business name directly before the .au, without having to keep .com, .net, .edu, et cetera.

Also called a second-level name or the ".au namespace”, the policy will enable you to create a website for, say, your property brokerage business named “Homes for All”, using the web address, “homesforall.au”, instead of homesforall.com.au or homesforall.net.au.

If you have an existing .au domain and want to apply for its equivalent direct .au, you can do so by following the Priority Allocation Process set by auDA –the official governing body for .au domains.  

What is the Priority Allocation Process?

The Priority Allocation Process allows existing .au domain license owners to register an equivalent direct .au domain. 

Users will have six months from the March 24 2022 launch date to apply for the Priority Status with the help of an accredited registrar. After getting approval, an applicant will be allocated the domain for an initial 1-year period.  

What if multiple applicants want the same domain name?

There will be some occasions where two or more applicants apply for the same .au direct name. auDa refers to this as a “contested name”. 

Say, for example, the owner for homesforall.net.au and homesforall.com.au both decide to apply for the same homesforall.au direct domain.  

So, who gets priority in this situation?

To decide who has the right to have the licence for a contested domain name, auDA has divided applicants into two categories. 

  • Under Category 1 are domain licences created after the Priority Status cut-off date of February 4, 2018 
  • Category 2, on the other hand, are domain licenses created after the Priority Status date of February 4, 2018.  

So, for the homesforall.com.au case vs. the homesforall.net.au case, the domain will be allocated to the applicant with the earliest creation date.

However, in the rare event that their creation date is the same, both parties must come to an agreement otherwise the .au domains remain unreserved.

If you are not certain about your priority category, you will soon be able to use auDA's upcoming online tool to get clarity.

Who can apply for priority status?

Under the programme, registrants of existing .com.au, .net.au, .org.au, and .edu.au domains (as well as other domains on the .au family) can participate in the Priority Allocation Process.

Is it mandatory to make the switch under the Priority Allocation Process?

Do note that the release of .au direct will only complement the existing Australian namespaces such as  com.au, net.au,  edu.au, gov.au and org.au, and would not replace it.

This means you are free to keep your existing website address if you intend to! 

Should you get a direct .au name?

There are many advantages of a direct .au name. Here are a few: 

  • The most important is that it’s easy to remember and type – making it a smart branding strategy.  
  • It also protects your brand identity, restricting competitors from registering a similar name. 
  • And finally, a .au domain is a great way to show that you’re proudly Australian. 

Vodien: Your Partner in Securing a Direct .AU Domain

When the Priority Allocation process opens on March 2022, existing .au licence holders may apply for Priority Status via an accredited registrar like Vodien.  

To learn more about Vodien’s domain registration services, click here.

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