Afilias brings continuous improvement to .au

by AFILIAS | 17 June 2019

This article addresses the technical portion of the .au Registry Transformation Project. In today’s post, we address our philosophy of continuous improvement.

One of the benefits Afilias brings as the new registry operator for .au is its pedigree of working with registrars on continuously improving the registry.

Indeed, Afilias was founded by a group of registrars back in 2000 who banded together to create more competition in the registry space. From the first registry to update DNS in real-time, to the first ever launch of EPP in a gTLD (.INFO), to the early implementation of DNSSEC in large TLDs to the first-ever large-scale transition of a TLD with zero downtime to end users, Afilias has continuous improvement in its DNA. Afilias’ engineers helped build the original architecture and structures for .au in 2002, so we even have Australian roots from the early days of .au.

Afilias has also brought adherence to global technical, security and policy standards to many ccTLDs in our care. From small island ccTLDs like .AG to large ccTLDs like .IN, we have implemented globally standard EPP registry technology and security technology across the board, making it safer, easier and more profitable for registrars to carry a wide range of TLDs.

We are serious about getting and applying feedback from registrars. Afilias has been collecting feedback from registrars formally for over a decade. We follow up on closed tickets to ask about overall satisfaction as well as satisfaction with the timeliness, completeness and accuracy of the service received. This survey also asks open ended questions to collect comments on anything the registrar wants to add. We have made numerous improvements in our service processes over the years and now routinely receive scores of 4.75+ on a 5 point scale.

For example, the Afilias ORMS—the Online Registrar Management System–represents a leap forward for registrar onboarding. Years ago, registries and registrars used to rely on the fax to transmit documents back and forth for the accreditation process. We worked with registrars to develop and deploy an online system that enables digital signing and filing of documents. Today, becoming accredited for .AU takes minutes, and it is a LOT simpler to track and control.

Security is also important to Afilias, and that is why we have built security improvements into all aspects of our interaction with registrars. While this is occasionally inconvenient, good security hygiene is critical for the entire industry, and Afilias is a leader in introducing security enhancements like improved password hygiene, dual factor authentication, transport layer security TLS 1.2 (RFC5246), etc.

As we approach the historic transition of .au, registrars may notice elements of our service that they would like improved. We’ll take these suggestions and ideas seriously. While our initial focus is on the fundamentals of ensuring the registry operates securely and stably for managing DNS services associated with domain name registrations—and in compliance with auDA’s published technical specifications and published policies—we look forward to hearing about the enhancements every registrar wants. We promise to prioritise these to get the best experience for the most registrars, and then get them queued up for implementation.

We are excited at the level of registrar interest and involvement in the .au TLD. By working together, we are confident we’ll make .au the clear choice of TLD among Australian businesses and the entire Australian Internet community.

(Afilias Australia took over the management of the .au registry for auDA from 1 July 2018.)