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Afilias chosen as new .au registry operator

Discussion in 'Domain News' started by Cheyne, Dec 18, 2017.

  1. Cheyne

    Cheyne Membership: Community

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    Afilias Chosen to Supply .au Registry Services

    18 December 2017

    Afilias Australia Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Afilias plc, has been appointed to provide registry services for the .au domain from 1 July 2018 as part of auDA’s Registry Transformation Project.

    Afilias was one of three providers shortlisted in a rigorous tender process, which attracted high calibre responses from across the globe.

    auDA CEO Cameron Boardman said the tender process allowed auDA to update the technical specifications of the registry, to enhance security and stability provisions, to secure commitments to higher services levels and to test pricing.

    Established in 2000, Afilias is the world’s second largest domain name registry provider with over 21 million names under management, including .org (more than 10 million domains) and .info (more than 6 million domains).

    Afilias’ country code Top Level Domain experience includes support of India’s .in, which has grown to 2 million names. It has a track record of experience in smoothly transitioning registries, including the .org registry, with hundreds of registrars located around the globe, and with domain names associated with the top websites globally (e.g. wikipedia.org). Afilias also assisted with the establishment and testing of the current registry for .au in 2001.

    Under the agreement, Afilias will set up a new Melbourne office with 20 local staff, including seasoned domain name professionals with more than 20 years global experience.

    Technical specifications for the new registry contract were developed in consultation with auDA accredited registrars, registry providers and the wider Australian internet community.

    The tender was run by a Tender Process Committee, which included a federal government representative, and a separate Tender Evaluation Committee assessed the bids.

    To ensure the transparency of the process, the full Request for Tender - including the selection criteria and weightings - were published on the auDA website in September 2017.

    “The new arrangements will support auDA’s Registry Transformation Project, which aims to cement community trust in the .au domain by ensuring the security, confidentiality, integrity and availability of data,” Mr Boardman said

    “The project also promotes the development of data analytics capabilities within auDA to support compliance and policy development.”

    The successful tenderer will begin engagement with registrars as early as this week, with access to information and test sites to be made available in coming months.
     
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  2. snoopy

    snoopy Membership: VIP

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    This sounds like a good outcome and well done to Cameron Boardman, Bruce Tonkin & all of AUDA to be able to go through with the tender process. The competition is absolutely needed and I hope we’ll see this being done each 5 years.

    Hopefully there will be a decent price cut as a result.
     
  3. Cheyne

    Cheyne Membership: Community

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    What makes you say that it sounds like a good outcome? Just curious.
     
  4. snoopy

    snoopy Membership: VIP

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    It needed competition, consumers should be getting the best deal possible on their domain registrations.
     
  5. trellian

    trellian Membership: Community

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    This change is not likely to get consumers better pricing. In fact the pricing is likely to go up as a result.

    The cost to registrars to make this change is substantial and given the time frame to do this will be even harder to get done. So these costs need to be passed onto the consumer. So expect higher prices as a result.
     
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  6. snoopy

    snoopy Membership: VIP

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    "Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed right now, but LaPlante said that .au registrars should see prices come down. This could lead to lower prices for registrants."

    http://domainincite.com/22393-shocker-after-15-years-afilias-kicks-neustar-out-of-australia?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+DomainIncite+(DomainIncite.com)
     
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  7. trellian

    trellian Membership: Community

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    We shall see, all I am saying that with most staff away from now till mid Jan, only leaves a few month to do a lot of work and work that we will never be able to recoup, so for registrars, this is bad news.
     
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  8. Lemon

    Lemon Membership: Trader

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    Whatever the deal between auDA and Afilias and the wholesale price that is set, registrars can charge whatever retail price they wish.
    The majority of registrars make no money out of domains and their revenue comes from the additional services they provide like hosting etc.
    Of course with the drive to increase market share, prices do tend to come down but margins are slim.
     
  9. Mick

    Mick Membership: Community

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    Don't forget that the registry require data to be verified now as well, not just by registrars, so the registrar will need to accommodate different registry responses if the data is not valid, rather than validating themselves.

    2.2.7. Registration data validation
    To improve the data quality in the .au registry, the registry operator must implement the following data field validation for key fields that have been supplied during the registration process:
    • validate that the Registrant ID (e.g. Australian Company Number (ACN) or Australian Business Number (ABN)) matches the Registrant Name. This can be done using data available from the Australian Business Registry (https://abr.business.gov.au), the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (http://www.asic.gov.au) and the Australian Charities and Not- for-profits Commission Register (http://www.acnc.gov.au); and
    • validate that Australian postal addresses provided by registrants match available addresses in the Australian Postal Corporation’s address file (https://auspost.com.au/business/marketing-and- communications/access-data-and-insights/address-data).
     
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  10. snoopy

    snoopy Membership: VIP

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    No matter how it is spun by supply side registrars are making money, whether it is charging $154 or charging $23 and upselling hosting at the same time they are making money.

    Whilst I do not expect MelbourneIT to pass on a any lower pricing (and they do make an absolutely truckload of money from selling domains), but for the price competitive registrars it is going to flow through to consumers.
     
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  11. Lemon

    Lemon Membership: Trader

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    It will be interesting to see how this will affect the drop catchers.
     
  12. Lemon

    Lemon Membership: Trader

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    What is the point in running a business if you do not make money, pay your taxes, contribute to the Australian economy and create employment.
    The alternative is to close down which decreases competition and ends up increasing prices.
     
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  13. snoopy

    snoopy Membership: VIP

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    Exactly, they are all making money.
     
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  14. Cheyne

    Cheyne Membership: Community

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    But the registry doesn't really dictate that, the retail registrars and resellers do because they choose the margins.

    I'm going to choose my words carefully because there are things I can and cannot disclose at this point, but let's just say that Afilias comes in with a $1.50AUD per year price reduction. Three points to consider here:
    1. Will auDA increase their fees? If so, it may negate any potential saving and for what benefit?
    2. The top retail registrars already offer random promotional discounts on .au domains more than $1.50. In fact, two popular registrars show multiple versions of their web sites with different prices and different savings amounts. So how will this increase competition from what we already have?
    3. Let's just say that every retail registrar passed on the saving in full. Then what? We are literally where we are now just $1.50 cheaper.
    I personally feel for the smaller registrars who will now need to invest a significant amount of money to connect to a new registrar, and I suspect some may turn in their accreditation as a result.
     
  15. snoopy

    snoopy Membership: VIP

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    If AUDA put up their own fees (currently $4.85) and don't pass on price reductions then yes people should take to the streets, but it doesn't look like that because the new registry is saying price reductions are likely.

    Not sure what the random promotional discount stuff has to do with anything though. If they are offering discounts now they'll likely offer them in the future.

    Regarding competition, that is competition to run the registry, not competition between registrars. There has between registrar competition for a long time but very little registry competition.
     
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  16. Cheyne

    Cheyne Membership: Community

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    Yes, but the cost of doing so has gone up.

    Costs are not fixed in this industry. Power is going up. Wages are going up. Super is going up. Not to mention that anything attached to the CPI goes up, which often includes bigger items like office rent and rack space.

    If I am reading what you are saying correctly, you seem to think that we should be slugging people in other areas like hosting for these cost base increases and just leave domains out of it? Portfolio holders are the only ones who benefit in that scenario, not small businesses.
     
  17. snoopy

    snoopy Membership: VIP

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    That is what Ausregistry used to say, crying poor all the time.

    Sounds like you are not reading what I am saying correctly.
     
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  18. Cheyne

    Cheyne Membership: Community

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    Have you seen something which explicitly says that auDA will not be raising their fee? If so, please point me to it because I definitely have not. And "likely" is a very loose term, and they would say "likely" because if this were to become the case their response will be "well, we put our fee down".

    If auDA have a plan that says they want to make X more money because they intend to invest Y in marketing .au, then that might pass the pub test, but I'm not sure what else they could pull out to justify it. I guess we'll find out more on Thursday.

    Yes, but I don't think the discounts are going to change. That's what I am trying to say.

    Again, I'm not sure how this helps.

    If Afilias are doing it cheaper then costs will need to be cut somewhere. Let's just hope it's not the quality or reliability of the registry that suffers as a result.
     
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  19. snoopy

    snoopy Membership: VIP

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    No, I just can't imagine them raising fees. They should be reducing their fees, because they've been stacking cash in bank for years with no purpose (now $16million according to their latest annual report).

    I think it is a waste of money trying to market an extension. Billions already spent advertising .com.au, AUDA's $16million wouldn't buy any measurable improvement.

    What is on Thursday, a meeting with them?

    I think Ausregistry were making a tonne of money. Very similar situation to .com where the price is artificially high due to lack of competition for the registry.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
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  20. Lemon

    Lemon Membership: Trader

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    Self interest is what it is all about. Which is why we are where we are.
     
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