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.au Direct Domains Release

Beginning March 24 2022,  Australian internet users will be able to register domain names in the 2nd Level (, like, directly!

What’s Happening

AuDA, the Registry operator for the Australian ccTLD (Country Code Top-Level Domain) .AU, is going to allow registrations of domains directly under the .AU extension. AuDA will open for 2nd level .AU ( registrations on 24 March 2022.

Until now, only 3rd level .AU domains ( were allowed for registration (e.g. or, so this is a significant change and a great opportunity for any registrants operating in Australia. At Fantel, we are actively preparing the system to support your success!



What is the grandfathering process for Registrants of existing Third-Level .au domains?

All names in .au (e.g. that match an existing name in any of the other namespaces in the registry (e.g. by March 24, 2022 00:00 UTC will be placed on hold and only made available for application by Registrants of a corresponding Third-Level .AU domain.

Priority Application period: 180 Calendar days from 24 March 2022

  • Existing registrants of a domain name in the .au registry will have 180 days to apply for their matching .au domain names
  • According to AuDA’s figures, only a small percentage of .au domains will be subject to a contention set between multiple applicants. This will mainly affect domain names based on common dictionary words and English phrases rather than typical company or business names
  • Most of the contention arises between and licences and many of these licences are held by the same legal entity.
  • 96% of Priority Applicants are expected to be able to register their matching .au domain name as soon as they apply.

How does the Priority application process work?

AuDA has divided Priority applicants in 2 categories, depending on when their Third-Level .AU domain was registered. The Second.Level .AU domains will be allocated according to the following criteria:

  • Priority category 1: Third-Level .AU Names with a creation date on or before February 4, 2018 at 23:59:59 (UTC)
  • Priority category 2: Third-Level .AU Names with a creation date after February 4, 2018 at 23:59:59 (UTC)
  • Where there are Category 1 and Category 2 applicants, Category 1 applicants have priority over Category 2 applicants
  • Where there are multiple Category 1 applicants, all Category 1 applicants must agree on the allocation. Domains for which an agreement cannot be reached, will remain reserved indefinitely, until a single applicant remains.
  • Where there are only Category 2 applicants, the name is allocated to the applicant whose Third-Level .AU domain has the earliest creation date in the .AU registry.

When will domains get allocated?

Eligible Priority Applicants have to exercise their priority right and actively submit an application within the 6 months of the Priority Application phase. Eligible Priority Applicants can also explicitly renounce their right to apply.

Generally speaking, the allocation of a reserved domain takes places once all eligible Priority Applicants have expressed their intentions.

When there is only one eligible Priority Applicant, the domain name is immediately allocated to that Applicant.
Where there are multiple eligible Priority Applicant, the name is allocated as soon as the contention is resolved (see question How does the Priority application process work? above for details)

What happens at the end of Priority application period: 24 September 2022?

Once the Priority Application phase closes, any Eligible Priority Applicants that have not submitted an application will be considered as having forfeited their Priority Right. The allocation of the domain will then take place among the Eligible Priority Applicants that have submitted their application, following the criteria described above under How does the Priority application process work?

  • Where multiple Category 1 applicants for the same name exist and the applicants are unable to reach an agreement among themselves, the matching .au name will remain reserved indefinitely. Applicants will need to renew their application each year to keep their claim active. Should only one active application remain, the domain will be assigned to that Applicant.
  • Category 2 contention sets will be resolved by assigning the domain to the Applicant with the oldest Third-Level Domain.
  • Any remaining unallocated names will be made available at the end of the application period. AuDA will announce the time of day when the unallocated names can be registered.

How do I apply for .au domain names that do not have a Priority right?

If neither the Category 1 or Category 2 is taken of the domain name you want, then we recommend you register it today in the as this will give you a priority right as a Category 2 applicant.

As of which date will I be able to pre-register

At this point in time, we are gathering all the requirements and will shortly announce the date as of when we will start accepting pre-registrations. Once the system is up and running we will guide you through the pre-registration process and ensure you are placed in the correct category for

What can I do today?

1) If you have a domain: double check that all your information on the Fantel console is correct on the related domain information. If you need help in updating anything, please let us know.
2) If you want a specific domain and it’s not already registered in your, then we recommend you consider registering the 3ld now to give you a priority right.
3) If you have other .au domains elsewhere, we suggest you review your portfolio and consider transferring your domains to Fantel, your registrar of choice.
4) Watch our website, sign up for our newsletter, and follow us on Twitter where we’ll post regular links to updates!