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General information

General information

Domain name system and structure


Contents:


1. What is a domain name registration?
2. What is a domain name registrant?
3. What is a domain name registrar?
4. What is a domain name registry?
5. Structure of the edu.au domain space


1. What is a domain name registration?


A domain name registration is a means by which to communicate the Internet Protocol (IP) address or location of a computer system, server, network device or online hosted service through easy-to-remember words, abbreviations and/or acronyms.

As you might use the name of a business to find its address or phone number in a directory, the domain name system translates (or resolves) a domain name to an IP address of the various services linked to that domain name. Here is an example.

  • The phone number for Education Services Australia is 1300 885 092.
  • The IP address for the server hosting the https://www.esa.edu.au website is 103.251.171.99.
  • Mail for Education Services Australia is sent to PO Box 177 Carlton South in Victoria.
  • Email for registrar@esa.edu.au is sent to the mail server at IP address 173.243.135.156.


2. What is a domain name registrant?


A domain name registrant is the organisation or individual that has registered the domain name. For edu.au, the registrant does not own the domain name, but holds a licence to the exclusive use of that name for a specified registration or licence period. The registrant has the option to renew the licence at the end of each licence period, subject to continuing to meet the eligibility and allocation requirements under policy.

As the domain name is considered to be a licence, the registrant must be a legal entity.



3. What is a domain name registrar?


A domain name registrar is an organisation that manages the allocation and registration of domain names. Registrars are accredited or authorised by the policy authority or regulatory body for the associated domain name space, and must operate in accordance with the guidelines of that designated authority. For .au and edu.au, the designated authorities are .au Domain Administration Ltd (auDA) and the .edu.au Domain Administration Committee (eDAC).

Registrants seeking to make changes to the details against a domain name, or renew their licence, must do so via the registrar with whom the domain name is registered.

Education Services Australia Ltd (ESA) is the sole authorised registrar for edu.au.

For more information about auDA, eDAC or ESA see the About us page.


4. What is a domain name registry?


A domain name registry operator administers and maintains the database of all domain names currently registered within a domain name space (that is, within .au).

The registry operator also provides the systems by which registrars can submit and manage registrations, and which allow third-party entities and systems to request information maintained in the registry required to be public for the domain name system to function. Such information might be the availability and/or current status of a domain name, the entity a domain name is registered to (the WHOIS service) and the servers that are authoritative for the DNS records for a domain name (name server delegation).

For the .au space as a whole, including edu.au, Afilias Australia Pty Ltd is the current registry operator.


5. Structure of the edu.au domain space


Domain names may consist of many levels (sub-domains, child zones), which are separated by a period (full stop) and work backwards from the outside in, as shown here:

  • fourthlevel.thirdlevel.secondlevel.firstlevel

For edu.au

The first level, au, is the Australian domain country code top level domain (cctld).

The second level, edu, is the sub-domain designated to the Australian education and training sector.

The third level, for which registrants with national interests and responsibilities may either register a personalised name or select one of the following pre-defined sub-domains, identify the state, territory or educational sector the domain name registrant operates in:

  • .act.edu.au
  • .nsw.edu.au
  • .nt.edu.au
  • .qld.edu.au
  • .sa.edu.au
  • .tas.edu.au
  • .vic.edu.au
  • .wa.edu.au
  • .catholic.edu.au
  • .eq.edu.au

Where one of the above sub-domains is selected at the third level, registrants may then register a personalised name at the fourth level.

The registration of fifth-level domain names, or higher, is only possible for names registered using .schools.nsw.edu.au and .education.tas.edu.au, and used by government schools in New South Wales and Tasmania respectively and as approved by the .edu.au Domain Administration Committee (eDAC) under the edu.au Creation of New Child Zones Policy.

Registrants may create sub-domains at levels above their personalised name – including at the fifth level, or higher – as a function of the DNS record hosting attached to the domain name, not as a domain name registration. For example, for the 'www' prefix for a domain name registered at the fourth level:

  • www.personalised-name.vic.edu.au
  • www.personalised-name.schools.nsw.edu.au



Please note

Sub-domains created at levels above a personalised name should only be used by and for the services of the legal entity that holds the registered domain name. Allowing a third party to operate under a sub-domain of your domain name will be considered a breach of the edu.au Unauthorised Registries Policy and the terms and conditions of your registration.




Disclaimer

If there is any inconsistency between this guide and the published edu.au policies, please follow the published edu.au policies.

If unsure how to apply the details on this page (or the published policies) to your domain name or the circumstances of your organisation or business, please contact our support team for assistance.

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