The non-profit industry body was launched 20 months ago to meet rising demands for modernising administration and policies in the .au space. Armed with the government's endorsement, auDA will formally request Elz, legendary founding administrator of domain names ending in .au, to transfer his authority after the Christmas break.
AuDA CEO Chris Disspain said he was optimistic Elz would comply. In the event of a refusal, auDA and the government could go over his head to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, Disspain said. "There are processes and precedents in place which allow the authority to be transferred without the consent of the delegated administrator but we don't want that to happen at all."
Elz could not be contacted for comment.
AuDA would like to attend a scheduled March ICANN meeting in Australia as representative for the .au space. However it is unlikely the re-delegation process can be fully completed in time for that meeting, even with the co-operation of Elz.
The Canadian government, in a similar situation, endorsed the non-profit Canadian Internet Registration Authority nearly two years ago. But it is still waiting for ICANN and the US Department of Commerce to revise procedures to reflect the transition.
Meanwhile, auDA is already in the process of taking over ownership of AUNIC, the public database of Australian country code domain names. It has called tenders and selected a bidder (as yet unnamed) to host AUNIC in what Disspain called a "proper environment." It will also take control of the primary domain name server for the .au space, now overseen by Elz at the University of Melbourne.
The DNS is likely to be centralised in the same site as the AUNIC registry, Disspain said. AuDA has moved to update policies governing three major areas: domain name types, dispute resolution and a competition model for domain name registrars. A panel hammering out the new competition model is due to report in the middle of next year but their recommendations will likely take some time to implement, said Disspain.