RE: [DNS] History of AUDA

RE: [DNS] History of AUDA

From: Mark Hughes <effectivebusiness§>
Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2001 01:24:36 +1100
Well, I'll have a go at putting my two cents worth together - everyone else
can add, disagree, enhance, detract, to this as they please - this is not an
'official history' - someone else may be able to provide some of the earlier

The issue of how best to manage the .au domain namespace has been actively
discussed for most of the last decade, and there have been several moves to
set up an entity to manage the .au namespace.

Some significant issues that have been relatively consistent over all the
proposals are:

* How to get an entity that is representative of the broad internet
* How to get that entity 'endorsed' by various sectors of the community
* How the entity would be structured to enable input by the internet
community into policy development
* The requirement that the entity be non-profit

The ultimate authority for the .au namespace is held by Robert Elz, and over
the last decade Robert had passed to various individuals authority for
different 2LDs within .au.  These individual delegates, and Robert himself,
were people committed to the long term stability of the .au namespace, and
who all carried out their role for no recompense.  The delegates, in
addition to having policy control, also usually acted as Registrar - again,
for no fee.

A downside of the 'individuals as authority' model was that the existing
delegates could not continue forever (unless being a 2LD delegate conferred
immortality on them), but more significant was the lack of any method to
enable the community to review or provide input to the policies that ruled
when they applied for domain names.

By the mid 1990's steadily increasing volumes of domain name applications -
especially by commercial users - also stretched the limits of the 'unpaid
volunteer' set-up, and was starting to affect some service levels.

In 1996 & 1997 the Internet Industry Association (IIA) held a number of
meetings to discuss options for resolving issues relating to service levels,
authority over the .au namespace, and enabling community input into policy

At the IIA convened meeting on 23 June 1997, Australian Domain Name
Administration (ADNA) was formed as the entity to manage the .au namespace.
The inaugural members of ADNA were:

Internet Industry Association
South Australian Internet Association
Western Australian Internet Association
Melbourne IT
iiNet Technologies P/L

ADNA, however, did not receive support from all sections of the internet
community;  ADNA's constitution did not allow for individuals or companies
to join as members - only associations.  This drawback made it difficult to
get the required level of support from across the community.  Without
complete support from the start, and with no resources, ADNA could not
achieve enough to generate more support.  Dedicated historians can consult
ADNA information at

In 1998, ADNA decided that it could not progress, and on 8 May 1998 ADNA
wrote to Dr Paul Twomey at the Australian Federal Government's National
Office for the Information Economy (NOIE, the area of government with
involvement in .au domain name issues) and requested government assistance
with the process to establish a self-regulatory body to manage the .au

NOIE then became actively involved in facilitating the process, established
a working group that led to the development of the existing auDA
constitution, and the creation of auDA on 19 April 1999, replacing ADNA.
auDA was still faced with the task that had confronted ADNA - i.e.
generating broad community support, and enabling policy development by the
Australian internet community.  auDA was helped by a constitution that
enabled all interested parties to become members of auDA, and significant
milestones were:

* the signing of agreements with various 2LD Registrars over a period from
September 1999 thru August 2000
* the commencement of two major policy review panels in mid 2000 - giving
the first real opportunity for the community to develop the policies that it
wants for the .au namespace.
* endorsement of auDA at the end of 2000 by the Australian government as the
appropriate body to administer the .au namespace

Regards, Mark

Mark Hughes
Effective Business Applications Pty Ltd
61 4 1374 3959

-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Ayson [mailto:jim&#167;]
Sent: Thursday, 22 March 2001 23:24
To: dns&#167;
Subject: [DNS] History of AUDA

Hello, I am writing from the Philippines. I am doing some research on the
history of AUDA as it is something I would like to propose as a more
acceptable model for the admininstration of our .PH domain. I'd like to
know when, how, and *why* a move was made to transfer the ccTLD
adminstration from the original domain manager Robert Elz to AUDA and if
there were any public debates about the pros and cons of this move.

thank you in advance for any help and pointers,

jim ayson / jim&#167;
visit - the #1 philippine music web site

Sign up for the Philippine Cyberspace Review - tracking the state of the
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Received on Thu Mar 22 2001 - 22:29:48 UTC

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