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Deloitte forgets history

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Deloitte Access Economics has announced an ‘explosion’ in Australian domain registrations compared to ten years ago, in a report released today.

The company says its research finds that more than 85 percent of the registrations in the .au domain are in the 2.18-million-strong .com.au space. New .com.au registrations are running at 60,000 per month, the report states, noting that there were only 500,000 registrations in the entire Australian domain space in 2002.

The growth is attributed to a warm-and-fuzzy democratic belief in a preference to buy from Australian companies, or to the perceived trustworthiness in Australia’s domain administration. This view is put by the AuDA’s head Chris Disspain speaking to AAP (via the Sydney Morning Herald).

Of course, those with more history than (apparently) Deloitte will remember that in 2002, Australia’s domain administration could best be described as “fledgling”. AuDA’s formal status as manager of the .au domain had only received formal ICANN recognition in 2001, following a long dispute with local Internet pioneer Robert Elz. AusRegistry then won the tender to operate the wholesale-level .au domain in 2002.

The establishment of AuDA by the federal government, and the operational tender, were in response to the Internet’s growth in the 1990s, which had outpaced the capacity of the early volunteers to keep up with registration requests; making it hardly surprising that the name space was relatively small a decade ago.

According to this document, .com.au (as distinct from the entire Australian namespace referenced in the Deloitte report) had only reached around 283,000 registrations by 2003.

Deloitte’s study also states that the current economy-wide value of the .au domain space is $AU475 million, supporting 4,300 full time jobs. ®

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