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Australia Moves Forward on Domain Name Administration

Global domain name registrars may be rejoicing with the introduction of competition in the .com space, but the Australians behind the .au domain are also moving towards opening up the .com.au space.

Elections were held during the ISPCON Australia 99 show in Melbourne earlier this week for the interim board of the au Domain Administration (auDA) during a five-hour meeting.

Between 100 and 200 people joined the organisation, which is intended to become the administrator for the .au country code top level domain. This role is currently played by Robert Elz, a researcher at the University of Melbourne.

auDA is intended to act as ICANN has for global domains and introduce competition for registrars in commercial domains. The 11 board members were elected in four groups. The three "supply class" board members were Larry Bloch from domain registrars NetRegistry, Chris Chaundy from connect.com.au, which is a large Australian Internet service provider but also registers net.au domains, and Michael Malone from Perth ISP iiNet, who also registers asn.au names.

The three "demand class" members were Vic Cinc from Sydney-based ISP CIA, lawyer Chris Connolly and Kim Davies from iiNet. The three "representative class" members were Kimberley Heitman from civil liberties group Electronic Frontiers Australia, Iain Morrison from the Australian Vice-Chancellors' Committee, representing the education sector, and Greg Watson from the Internet Society of Australia.

The other two board members, elected as general representatives, were trademark expert Mark Hughes from Tradegate ECA, and David Thompson of Deloitte Consulting.

The chairperson of the predecessor to auDA, Professor Peter Gerrand, was the most notable unsuccessful candidate. Prof Gerrand is CEO of Melbourne IT, which plays the same role as monopoly registrar for the .com.au domain as Network Solutions has done for .com.

This board will only server for between three and five months until it is replaced by a newly elected board at an AGM of auDA at an unspecified time between July and September.



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