Australia’s ccTLD has taken a rare turn for the worse recently in terms of domains under management, around the anniversary of a major name release.
.au had 4,227,033 domains today according to the registry’s web site. That’s down about 36,000 from the 4,263,106 names it was reporting on September 21.
September 21 was the one-year anniversary of registry auDA releasing millions of previously reserved second-level domains into the available pool, the last stage of its liberalization of the registration rules.
The registry took over 100,000 registrations in just a couple of days upon that release.
The released names were all those that had been held back as “priority” reservations for six months to give the owners of the matching third-level .com.au or .org.au domains first refusal.
While auDA does not daily break down its 2LD versus 3LD numbers, it seems likely the recent declines can be attributable to the predictable first-anniversary junk drop.
Before the 2LD service became available in March 2022, .au had 3.4 million domains under management, so the program has still boosted numbers overall.