Given that Australia has only 3,000,000 domains currently registered – of which 2,592,000 are .com.au – there are many people who say this is nothing more than a money grab by the “supply” side of the business.
The mantra of those wanting this change seems to be:
- It will open up the space & allow businesses to register domains that have previously been unavailable.
- Much shorter to type, therefore they are more appealing; more memorable; and therefore preferable.
- They would make the domain name system simpler and easier to use.
- Many other domain spaces around the world have done it, therefore Australia is lagging behind.
Those against it believe:
- The current system works fine – “if it ain’t broke, why try and fix it”?
- It will impose an unnecessary financial burden on individual registrants, small business and corporates because they will have to try and defensively register the additional domain extension to protect their current interests.
Let’s Look At Who Benefits
- For the purpose of the exercise, I’ve made some assumptions on the potential takeup of new .au domains – and potential costs / revenue.
- I’ve done two figures – a 15% takeup on the existing 3,000,000 registrations (450,000); and then being a bit more optimistic, I’ve shown 1,000,000 new registrations.
- Depending upon outcome of granting rights to existing registrants; these registrations will either be “defensive” or “new registrations” – or a combination of both.
- Costs are based on current charges for other .au extensions (I don’t imagine the new .au will be cheaper – if anything it could be more costly!).
- Revenue to registrars / resellers is shown at 3 different levels – $5 above wholesale cost (making a new registration $24.95); $10 above ($29.95); and $20 above ($39.25). Many registrars / resellers charge much more than this – including good old Melbourne IT who charge $149.99.
- The table below shows current wholesale costs.
- This table shows the potential earnings of the Registry (not necessarily AusRegistry) and the auDA (based on current wholesale costs).
- This table projects the potential return to Registrars and Resellers. (Plus think of all the extra hosting business).
- This table shows the possible total expenditure that registrants will have to shell out.
Given the stats, who does this really benefit if it goes ahead?
Doing a cost / benefit analysis, would it be worth the aggravation?
What do you think?
- I am a member of the auDA 2015 Names Policy Panel.
- I am also a domainer / domain investor with a substantial portfolio of com.au domain names.
- I therefore have a “vested interest”.