ICANN Announcements

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ccTLD Agreement Signed with auDA

25 October 2001

Marina del Rey, California, USA (25 October 2001) - The Internet for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today announced the signing of its first formal agreement with a country code top level domain (ccTLD) operator. The agreement is with the auDA, the operator of the Australian ccTLD registry for domain names that end in the suffix, .au.

"It is not surprising that the Australian ccTLD would be the first to sign an agreement," said ICANN President/CEO, M. Stuart Lynn. "The Australian Internet community and the Australian government have a longstanding commitment to ICANN. Australia has a well developed Internet community due in no small measure to the pioneering work of Robert Elz." Elz, an engineer at the University of Melbourne, has managed .au since it was established. Earlier this year, it was announced that .au would be turned over to auDA.

auDA – which stands for ".au Domain Administration" – is a non-profit company that was established in April 1999 by the Australian Internet community. Subject to Australian government oversight, auDA, will now act as the industry self-regulatory body for the .au namespace, with responsibility for introducing competition in the Australian domain name registration space, evolution of .au names policy, and the introduction of an Australian domain name dispute resolution process.

"This is a significant milestone for Australia's Internet users and for the global Internet community," observed Chris Disspain, CEO of auDA. "We are pleased to have signed an agreement with ICANN, and are committed to our role in ICANN's larger mandate of coordinating global Internet stability."

Australia was an early participant in the Internet, beginning with the Australian Computer Science Network (ACSnet) in the mid-1970s. The .au ccTLD was delegated to Robert Elz in March 1986, shortly after the Internet domain-name system was deployed in 1985 by the University of Southern California's Information Sciences Institute (which then performed the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions under contract to the United States Government). Robert Elz has been a long-standing leader in the development of the Internet in Australia, and has selflessly served in a volunteer capacity since his appointment as .au ccTLD's manager. Australia has a population of nearly 20,000,000, of which over an estimated 8,000,000 are Internet users.