It was only a matter of time...following "extensive public consultation" auDA (the domain authority governing the .au domain space) has announced that they will allow registrations of domain licenses in the top level .au space from March 2022.
That means boxed.com.au will become boxed.au.
Whilst this is no different to what several other countries have done (the US, UK, and New Zealand, to name but three), I can't help feeling it's just a commerically driven decision to raise revenue.
I assume most businesses with IP to protect are likely to have already registered the com.au and net.au versions of their business names, trademarks, etc. Are those business likely to relinquish those domains in favor for the .au domain? Or they required to pay three license fees, two of which will redirect to the primary?
The good news is that, whilst the com.au space is protected for "commercial entities", the .au space will be available to "Anyone with a local connection to Australia (including businesses, associations and individuals)". This may spur an increase in activity as the general population scramble to register
Holders of existing domain licenses will be provided priority allocation to the new .au namespace from the start of the "Priority Allocation Period", which is a six month period starting from 24th March 2022.
Boxed offers a range of services for domain license holders in Australia. If you have any concerns about securing your .au domain or preparing to migrate your existing websites (without annoying Google), we'd be delighted to help.