The 2 millionth Aussie website has just been registered. The milestone follows strong growth in registrations over the past 10 years and places .au in the top 10 largest country codes in the world, says AusRegistry, the registers operator for designated second level domains.
However, it doesn’t mean there are two million websites in existence, as many register but are subsequently made inactive.
In addition, major companies like Qantas, Westpac and Woolworths are buying up domain names similar to their own in an effort to stop other companies from making money from their brands, from which rogue operators earn them up to $20 per click.
There are 1900 such prohibited sites known to be in circulation including kommbank.com.au and wirlpoo.com.au.
This huge spurt in users numbers has hit the net in another way – with global allocations of 32-bit IPv4 address space set to run out very soon.
Business makes up 86 per cent of the domain registration, which they pay a fee for. There are over 25 registering companies listed by auDA on their website. Over half a million registered in the last financial year alone.
There were only about 275,000 .au domains registered when .au Domain Administration (auDA), introduced its competition model in 2002.
.au is one of the most widely used country code domains in the world, although topped by Germany and the UK.
However, there is no limit to the amount of .au websites that come into play in the future,” providing new registrants continue to meet eligibility criteria” auDA told Smarthouse.
However, the .au domain has the highest penetration rate in the world for regulated namespaces with restricted eligibility when you take into account population, says auDA.
“We have seen continual strong growth in the namespace despite the global financial crisis and other market factors,” auDA CEO Mr Kinderis said.
“.au is Australia’s domain namespace of choice and the only place to show that you are a trusted Australian,” although recently the body has questioned this ‘Aussies only’ policy.
Earlier this month, it sought public comment on policies relating to the operation of the Internet here, including whether restrictions on registrants being Australians should remain.