1. Welcome to DNTrade. If you want to find out about the latest domain name industry news or talk, share, learn, buy, sell, trade or develop domain names - then you've come to the right place. It's a diverse and active community, with domain investors, web developers and online marketers - and it's free! Click here to join now.
    Dismiss Notice

Huge News Regarding auDA

Discussion in 'Domain News' started by neddy, Oct 19, 2017.

  1. DomainNames

    DomainNames Membership: Community

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    3,214
    Likes Received:
    750
    Email responses to: audomainreview@communications.gov.au

    Attachment A—Discussion questions

    auDA’s roles and responsibilities

    1. What are auDA’s primary roles and responsibilities?

    2. Do the current terms of endorsement set out appropriate guiding principles for a fit for purpose .au ccTLD manager?

    3. Do the terms of endorsement reflect community expectations for the management of the .au ccTLD?

    4. What external trends and developments may affect auDA’s roles and responsibilities?

    Corporate governance
    5. What best practice approache

    6. Do the current board arrangements support auDA in effectively delivering its roles and responsibilities?

    7. Should reform of existing board arrangements be considered? If so, what are the reform priorities?

    Stakeholder engagement
    8. Who are auDA’s stakeholders?

    9. How should auDA engage with its stakeholders? Are there guiding principles which should be considered?

    10. Are auDA’s stakeholder engagement processes effective?

    11. Is a transparency and accountability framework effective?

    Membership
    12. Is auDA’s membership structure reflective of the range of stakeholders that rely on, or interact with, the .au domain?

    13. Does auDA’s membership structure support it in delivering its roles and responsibilities?

    Security of the .au domain
    14. What emerging risks does auDA face in relation to the security and stability of the .au domain?

    15. What is best practice for DNS administration?

    16. Does auDA maintain appropriate mitigation strategies? What additional mitigation strategies should be considered? How should these strategies be assessed?

    17. What is the optimal mix of capabilities to expand auDA’s cybersecurity preparedness?

    18. How should auDA engage with the Government in its management of risks?

    19. s and processes should be considered with regard to auDA corporate governance?

    20. What does good corporate governance for auDA look like? Are the ASX corporate governance principles sufficient? Should other principles also be considered?

    21. Should reform of existing auDA corporate governance arrangements be considered? If so, what are the reform priorities?
     
  2. snoopy

    snoopy Membership: VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Messages:
    5,286
    Likes Received:
    2,267
  3. DomainNames

    DomainNames Membership: Community

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    3,214
    Likes Received:
    750
    they say no one is there with that name when I just called now.
     
  4. DomainNames

    DomainNames Membership: Community

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    3,214
    Likes Received:
    750
    My submission in brief:
    ____________________________________________________________________


    The Commonwealth Government need to take over management of the .au namespace and wholesale registry completely as soon as is possible.

    auDA has failed and will continue to fail even with $ millions spent on consultants, reviews, committees and panels. It does not work.

    Over the many years of it's existence some people have suggested ( even members of the board on official auDA minutes) it has been running as a "cartel" and it cannot reform itself.

    There has been no real consideration for the rights and engagement with the paying .au domain name registrant consumer.

    The fact is 99% of the current .au domain name consumers do not know who auDA is or what they do or that they infact pay auDA for every .au registration, renewal and COR. Perhaps some at auDA have liked it this way over the years.

    The Government must invite expressions of interest for new bodies to take over the role and also put forward options for the Commonwealth Government to due the role. This is crucial for the security of Australian Critical Infrastructure which it has been already classed as officially.

    auDA must be wound up and the following to occur:
    https://www.auda.org.au/about-auda/our-org/constitution/

    8 WINDING UP

    On dissolution of the Company, the right to administer the .au ccTLD must either be transferred on to another entity nominated or approved by the Commonwealth of Australia or, in the absence of such approval, be transferred to the Commonwealth of Australia.

    If upon the winding up or dissolution of auDA there remains, after the satisfaction of all its debts and liabilities, any property or money whatsoever, the remaining assets shall not be paid or distributed to the Members but shall be transferred to the subsequent entity approved by the Commonwealth of Australia to manage the .au ccTLD."


     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
    snoopy likes this.
  5. snoopy

    snoopy Membership: VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Messages:
    5,286
    Likes Received:
    2,267
    He was the facilitator, maybe he has come from another office or something? (just a guess)

    Here is the front of the handout they gave out showing his name,

    Screen Shot 2017-12-18 at 3.17.54 pm.png
     
    DomainNames likes this.
  6. snoopy

    snoopy Membership: VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Messages:
    5,286
    Likes Received:
    2,267
    It will be interesting if the Government ends up giving AUDA a list of reforms whether they can get them through the required special resolutions. The government was interested in whether reforms were likely to be passed. I have my doubts that it is possible. There is people who would "lose power" and on the flip side people who are deeply displeased with how AUDA has been run by those in power. Will people come together to save the place or is it too far gone?

    I think if the reforms can't be passed AUDA will be wound up. I imagine they will tell AUDA they will be wound up if they can't pass them, they seem very frank people.
     
  7. PaulS

    PaulS Membership: Community

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2017
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    91
    FYI - Richard Bullock is the Assistant Secretary of Strategy at the Dept of Communications and Arts (Not ACMA - they were just using their offices). So he is Canberra-based. 02 6271 1000 or 1800 254 649 for the DoCA switchboard.
     
    snoopy and DomainNames like this.
  8. DomainNames

    DomainNames Membership: Community

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    3,214
    Likes Received:
    750
    Thanks Paul.
     
    PaulS likes this.
  9. DomainNames

    DomainNames Membership: Community

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    3,214
    Likes Received:
    750
    In addition to the review questions the DoCA are continuing to accept any information people may wish to provide regarding concerns with management of the .au namespace by auDA.

    If people have more information of concerns contact Richard or continue emailing it to audomainreview@communications.gov.au
     
    Nicole Murdoch likes this.
  10. neddy

    neddy Membership: VIP

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,727
    Likes Received:
    1,211
    auDA Member:
    Yes
  11. snoopy

    snoopy Membership: VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Messages:
    5,286
    Likes Received:
    2,267
    Cheers Ned
     
  12. snoopy

    snoopy Membership: VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Messages:
    5,286
    Likes Received:
    2,267
    An interesting comment from ex-auDA staffer Paul Szyndler,

    "When considering policy matters that may liberalise the .au namespace there are obvious conflicts of interest that can arise, particularly within the Supply class.

    The situation is worsened by auDA’s relatively small membership base, which has approximately 250 Demand class members and only approximately 50 Supply class members. Once again, this greatly increases the chance of capture. For example, a Supply class stakeholder may operate 4 or 5 “Resellers” of .au names and could register each as a member – for only $110 per year each. Anecdotal evidence already shows that some degree of “branch stacking” has happened in this way, in the past.

    There is also a lack of clarity about the boundaries of each class and has resulted in the transition of auDA Directors from representing one class to another (most recently at the 2017 AGM)."

    https://www.communications.gov.au/s...paul_szyndler_auda_submission_pdf_publish.pdf
     
  13. snoopy

    snoopy Membership: VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Messages:
    5,286
    Likes Received:
    2,267
    I've now read through all the submissions.

    Some common themes,
    • Supply side branch stacking
    • Supply side has gained control over the auDA policy and development process (esp in relation to .au)
    • Criticism of directors “swapping sides”
    • Board weighted towards industry insiders (registrars/resellers/registry and domainers) rather than representing general public
    • Criticism over auDA membership fees and low membership base, this is not just from individuals but also from comes from organisations such as eDAC & Internet Australia. The CIRA model seems to be a common suggestion
    • Need for by-election for casual vacancies
     
  14. findtim

    findtim Membership: VIP

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Messages:
    7,669
    Likes Received:
    1,785
    auDA Member:
    Yes
    14 published submissions is another disappointing result. Brings us back to communication with domain name owners
    tim
     
    Nicole Murdoch and DomainNames like this.
  15. snoopy

    snoopy Membership: VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Messages:
    5,286
    Likes Received:
    2,267
    I think the general public wouldn't be able to answer the questions.
     
    DomainNames likes this.
  16. PaulS

    PaulS Membership: Community

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2017
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    91
    Well, first of all, thanks for quoting my submission!
    I had to go back and re-read it to make sure I was accurate and coherent throughout!

    I agree that 14 submissions is not a great response and, from previous experience, would be very surprised if there were as many as 20 in total.
    And yes, that is because the government certainly pitched their questions at an "informed user" level, not the average registrant / Internet user.
    Its a lot like the electricity network / industry. My elderly neighbours are users / consumers, but would never contribute to an industry review run by the ACT government. And they dont need to. They just need it to work. And that is what we have to expect if we are "recognising that the Internet naming system is a public resource".
    The difference between the two industries is that the average punter WILL get involved when crippling, exponential pricing increases occur. This has happened for electricity but not the DNS. Joe Average just doesnt care about wholesale pricing changes / adjustments etc. But crickey, they would seriously care if there were an industry-wide 30% pricing increase.

    All of that said, I hope that the limited quantum of responses, plus the large number of F2F interviews that were held, will prompt government action. I mean, look at the consistent messages of dissatisfaction and disenfranchisement. With the exception of the auDA Board's response, there is pretty much a universal call for change.
     
    snoopy likes this.
  17. DomainNames

    DomainNames Membership: Community

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    3,214
    Likes Received:
    750
    "Joe Average just doesnt care about wholesale pricing changes / adjustments etc"

    Hi Paul,

    I know that auDA will find out at a higher level in 2018 that "joe average" and others do care about how the wholesale and retail pricing comes about.

    How these are set: auDA fee, Wholesale Registry Fee, auDA Foundation Fee set, Contract pricing etc.
    ...The affect it has on .au domain name consumers, Supply Registrars and Resellers and their own cut from the pie.

    The government, observers and others should have been watching this more closely long before now. Making sure both auDA, auDA Foundation and any subcontracted Wholesale Registrars provider where not making excessive profits and going to full RFT and best pricing possible for the Supply Registrars, Resellers and then .au domain name consumers.

    auDA and the auDA Foundation now have over $20 million stashed away from profits.. Any scholar will recognise an issue here when it comes to the wholesale pricing.

    Maybe they are keeping it to help pay out in any Class Action Lawsuit? Who know but it is obvious .au domain name consumers and supply registrars/ Resellers are being "ripped off' still.

    My concern is we may see only a token price wholesale decrease with the new 2018 pricing.

    What has come to light is problems about statements of reduced wholesale pricing as domain name registration numbers increased and how this has not occurred. This is a very serious matter and not one to be downplayed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2018
  18. snoopy

    snoopy Membership: VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Messages:
    5,286
    Likes Received:
    2,267
    Agree, AUDA should be passing through 100% of any decrease in the registry price.

    Will they act in the best interests of registrants or are we about to see even worse profiteering?
     
  19. DomainNames

    DomainNames Membership: Community

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    3,214
    Likes Received:
    750
    Registrars, Resellers and .au Consumers need to see the .au wholesale price decrease and lower auDA / auDA Foundation fees.

    I have no doubt someone else can do the same job as auDA better and cheaper and this is why I support the Commonwealth doing an EOI for new prospective .au namespace managers to submit proposals asap to take over the role.

    When we see the financial year reports we will see ( albeit it redacted and censored) massive waste and costs on auDA finances over the last year again which could have been avoided with better management from auDA and the Board.

    The .au wholesale Registry RFT successfully had a 60% lower .au wholesale price with Afilias and they where not even the cheapest bidder to run the .au wholesale registry! .. maybe we would see additional benefits and improvements from an EOI to do the .au namespace management...

    Some Registrars are mumbling their displeasure about auDA and Ausregistry still..including their current .au renewal discount marketing program which apparently is not working for the benefit of Registrars, Reselers or .au domain name Consumers.. the only benefit is for auDA or Ausregistry it seems..Registrars have said.

    I will raise this at the SGM and let's see what the answers are from auDA and the Board. I hope the media records it.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
    snoopy likes this.