Category: marketing

Direct .AU registrations – where’s the business case Cameron Boardman?

Why do I care about this issue?

I was a non executive director of auDA from 2001-2015.

The .au domain name space is well established, and understood by organisations and Internet users.

There is significant value in the existing .au brand hierarchy. NetRegistry describes “” as:

The most recognisable Australian domain name

I’m quite open minded about being able to be convinced there is a need for direct .au domain registrations, but the issue is, no quantitative business case has been put forward.

Is this a cash grab?

I am concerned that the primary focus of introducing direct .au domain registrations is to:

  • increase revenue for auDA (they receive a domain name fee for every .au domain name sold),
  • increase revenue for domain name retailers, and
  • increase revenue for domain legal service providers.

However, the expense appears to be borne by organisations.

There’s been no clear business case made for the expansion of the .au domain name space, and it’s not like ‘’ names are running out.

Where is the quantitative business case?

At the 2016 auDA AGM, auDA CEO Cameron Boardman promised to commission a business case to determine the financial viability of opening up .au for direct registrations.

Listen to Ned O’Meara’s question, and Cameron Boardman’s response at the 2016 auDA AGM which is available here (2nd clip).

The Deloitte Access Economics Report (which is not a business case) commissioned by auDA recommended that:

A more quantitative analysis of the costs and benefits should also be
undertaken. Any modelling of costs and benefits should give proper
consider to their distribution. If the benefit of the proposal is concentrated
to a handful of individuals or businesses, or the cost is disproportionally
borne a small subset of the industry, the proposal may be inappropriate
even if the total benefits exceed the total cost because of equity

Cameron Boardman, CEO of auDA:

When will auDA members, Internet users, and organisations be able to read this critical missing quantitative business case?

More reading on direct .AU registrations

auDA Board Members – Chair: Chris Leptos AM, Deputy Chair: Erhan Karabardak
14 March 2018. Demand Class Director Vacant.
In other words, domain sellers “Supply” out vote domain buyers “Demand” on the board.

auDA 2017 Policy Review Panel
27 September 2017 – current. NO Peak business body representative!!!

Stop .AU it’s a cash grab that will hurt business petition. 12 March 2018

Reddit/r/australia discuss The Business ABC story
12 March 2018

New internet domain names for Australia have been slammed as a tax on business
The Business, ABC News. Story by Dan Ziffer. 12 March 2018

Direct AU Registrations
Brand Builders. Jim Stewart & Josh Rowe. 6 March 2018

Brands voice objections to top level .au domain introduction
Mumbrella. Story by Paul Wallbank. 5 March 2018

$300m .AU domain name tax on businesses
Threaded discussion on LinkedIn. 1 March 2018

Ed Husic demands government sorts out concerns over “.au” domain introduction “quick smart”
Smart Company. Story by Emma Koehn. 1 March 2018

Australian Government House of Representatives Hansard
Speaker Ed Husic MP. 26 February 2018

“A load of bollocks”: SMEs demand answers from auDA over introduction of new “.au” domain names
Smart Company. Story by Emma Koehn. 21 February 2018

Is Dead?
PowerRetail. Story Natasha Sholl. 21 February 2018

Small businesses face expensive fights for “.au” web addresses as experts sound warning over new domain changes
Smart Company. Story by Emma Koehn. 20 February 2018

Millions of Australian domain name owners ‘ripped off’
Sydney Morning Herald. Story by Cara Waters. 8 August 2017

2015 Names Policy Panel
February 2015 – December 2015

REA Group Response to 2015 auDA Names Policy Panel
30 September 2015

CarSales Ltd Response to 2015 auDA Names Policy Panel
September 2015

John Swinson Response to 2015 Names Policy Panel
30 May 2015

Australia registers more .au than .com domains
auDA 2007 Names Policy Panel Submission by Josh Rowe. 15 June 2007


Are .au domain names still relevant?

Post-AGM Update: Two new Demand Class directors were elected.  Congratulations to them both, they are both well credentialed people.

As per my original post, I encourage you to become an auDA member here’s why you should join auDA.

I am standing for election to the .au Domain Administration Ltd board.  auDA members can vote at the annual general meeting.  If you’re not a member here’s why you should join auDA.

My career and passion doesn’t exist without the Internet.

My day job is delivering new online products and services for corporates and startups.  realAs – a real estate industry startup – is my latest commercial venture.

My other experience includes helping businesses like Australia Post, Tarazz and Medibank deliver products and services using the Internet, for 20+ years.

The .au domain name space faces threats:

  • Competition: different ways to navigate the Internet (e.g. search engines, new top level domains, apps, social media)
  • Growth: flat

Does .au policy need to evolve to meet the needs of all .au stakeholders?

Discuss in the comments section below:

Questions & Answers

Question: “You’ve been on the board for the past 14 years, so you’re not quite an outsider looking to be newly elected. What will another term on the Board enable you to do? How does that compare to bringing in new voices into the organisation?”

JR: “To have auDA members re-elect me for 7 terms is humbling and I’ve never taken that for granted.

I have played an active role in delivering significant change during those years including: domain name policy, competition model, domain slamming, and domain monetisation.

The reason I’m standing again is to seek the opportunity to continue to be an energetic and entrepreneurial contributor to the .au domain name space.

One of the key issues which the next auDA board must consider is whether or not to open up .au for direct registrations. This will require a good understanding of policy, stakeholders and how the digital economy is evolving. I believe I tick these three boxes.

That’s not to say new blood on the board is not important, the current board does have a cross section of directors with a good balance of experience and tenure.

I am very passionate about seeing .au succeed locally and globally.

I expect this to be a hotly contested election in demand class – which is a good thing in itself.”

Kogan’s 5 click unsubscribe

ruslan koganWhy should email subscriptions be binary?

Most businesses have the option to receive email marketing or not.

This is overly simplistic.

Why not give customers different options for:

  • the type of emails they receive,
  • the frequency of emails and
  • why not even give the option to take an email holiday if customers’ inboxes are overflowing ?

Hat tip to Ruslan Kogan for the 5 click unsubscribe.  This is pure engineering brilliance!



I have been a passionate supporter of opt-in email marketing legislation in Australia and globally.  ACMA has some useful information on how to best comply with the Spam Act.

Update 25 June 2014:

Even though I unsubscribed from Kogan’s email list, Kogan still spammed me silly.  Sigh.

The chief Twitterer at Kogan says I’m unsubscribed again.