auDA Industry Advisory Panel

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If you sell or work with .au domain names, it is likely that you would be familiar with auDA, the .au regulator. What you may not know is that auDA are currently reviewing the structure of the .au industry, though the 2012 Industry Advisory Panel.

auDA develops policy based on panels that draw expertise from a wide variety of participants and from community based submissions to panel papers. So this is your opportunity to directly contribute to shaping policy that relates to you as resellers.

This particular panel is a very significant review of the industry and the paper that has been released is quite long and will take time for you to read and digest. However, if you sell .au domain names you should try to make the time to review it and to provide feedback on the draft recommendations that have been put forward, as they may well affect you.

Below we have summarised the key policy items from the paper that relate to resellers:

Issue 4

The status and regulation of resellers Draft Recommendation 4A: The Panel recommends the retention of the current .au industry model for auDA, registrar and reseller inter-relationships.

That is resellers will continue to be managed by their registrars by way of commerical contract, as opposed to being directly managed by auDA.

Draft Recommendation 4B:

The Panel recommends that auDA develop a standardised agreement template for registrars to use as a basis for their reseller contracts.

It should be noted this is just to make it easier for Registrars to have a standard agreement in place that covers the broad requirements, however there is no direction to use the template, Registrars will be free to have their own agreements should they wish to.

Draft Recommendation 4C:

The Panel recommends that auDA develop and implement a system for adding a reseller “contact object” to the registry database, including a “reseller contact ID”, name and email address, and that auDA should be responsible for managing this mechanism for recording resellers.

This is one of the largest changes for resellers. It would mean that you are finally listed as the domain provider in the WHOIS. It will also provide a measure of protection to resellers should a Registrar collapse, such as happened with Distribute IT. It means a record of you, associated with individual domain registrations will exist in the central Registry, something that doesn’t occur today.

Issue 5.

The policy and process for registrar transfers Draft Recommendation 5A: The Panel recommends that no changes be made to the current .au transfer authorisation process.

That is transfers will continue to require individual Registrant consent (with the exception of 5B), and the losing Registrar isn’t able to stop the outgoing Registrar.

Draft Recommendation 5C:

The Panel recommends that bulk reseller transfers be allowed with auDA approval, and that auDA ensure that the process includes appropriate registrar and registrant protections

It is an important step in recognising resellers and their role in the market, that they have the ability to manage their customers domains, and who provides those domain services. By allowing bulk transfers, which will require an opt-out mechanism as opposed to individual Registrant consent, it empowers resellers to choose their domain supplier.

You can view the full list of recommendations at: http://www.auda.org.au/document.php?documentid=1399

You can read other submissions and general overview at:http://www.auda.org.au/2012iap/2012iap-index/

If you would like to provide feedback to auDA supporting or opposing the recommendations, you can do so either via an online survey at:http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PZ3JCJT or via a direct written submission to:

auDA Industry Advisory Panel
Paul Szyndler
e: paul.szyndler@auda.org.au
f: 03 8341 4112

The period for comments is open until 19th October, 2012, with the changes likely to be implemented next year.

TPP Wholesale actively participate in policy development of the .au namespace. Our parent company’s chief operating officer, Brett Fenton, is a member of the the Industry Advisory Panel.

What Brett says about this current panel and generally about the panel process is:

“The panel process is a very important part of the .au policy framework. I recommend to all participants within the industry to if they have the opportunity to participate on a panel. If you don’t have the time or inclination to be on a panel, which is a fairly large commitment in time, either doing the online survey or providing a brief written response is absolutely vital. These recommendations are evaluated and discussed by the panel with comments taken on board. So this is your opportunity to have a say and shape the industry you trade in.”

This is a very important panel, as it looks at a few key areas (and some other points that are more or less house keeping). These are:

i. The Registry operator and either the extension of the current agreement or a formal tender process.

ii. Registrar security and adoption of a base security standard for Registrars

iii. Reconition of Resellers within the market framework

These 3 areas have significant possible outcomes for us as an industry. I have participated in this panel, and the earlier panel that drafted the security standard to ensure that as a Registrar (and a wholesale provider to partners) that our voice is heard and concerns are discussed and addressed. I’m generally happy with the recommendations that have been put forward on the important issues, including extending the agreement with AusRegistry by negotiation rather than an expensive tender process, that Registrars comply with a basic security framework to avoid another Distribute IT scenario if possible and that Resellers are included in WHOIS and have the ability to self-manage domains on the behalf of their customers.”

For Further Information:

auDA Advisory Panel: http://www.auda.org.au/2012iap/2012iap-index/
Draft Recommendation Paper: http://www.auda.org.au/document.php?documentid=1399
Advisory Panel Feedback Survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PZ3JCJT