Kevin Robert Elz

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Kevin Robert Elz, often referred to in computing circles as Robert Elz, or simply kre, is a computer programmer and a pioneer in connecting Australia to the Internet, and more recently, in connecting Thailand.


Some of his achievements include developing a number of important Internet RFC documents, helping connect Australia to the world-wide Internet, developing the internet-based research network within Australia, and operating the .au domain registry from 1986 through to the late 1990s.[1] He also managed the aus.* Usenet hierarchy from its inception in the 1980s until the mid-1990s.

He is an Honorary Fellow at the University of Melbourne,[2] where for some years he worked in the Computer Science department.

He is also credited for pioneering online text commentary for cricket matches.[3]

Having previously lived and worked in Melbourne for many years, he currently lives in Hat Yai, Songkhla, Thailand,[4] where he is an honorary lecturer in the Computer Engineering Department of the Prince of Songkla University.[5]

Operation of[edit]

As the architect of the early domain-name eligibility criteria for "", Elz is largely responsible for Australia's not experiencing a domain name gold rush in the mid-1990s. The eligibility policy required a direct connection between a company's official name and its domain name, in contrast to the strictly first-come-first-served policy of the .com registry.

Elz was, however, criticised during his tenure, as domain name applications often took many months to be examined[citation needed], despite the commercialisation of the Internet and customer demands for quick turnaround times[citation needed]. He was also responsible for the controversial handing-over of the operation of "" to Melbourne IT in 1996.[6]


  1. ^ "The Internet in Australia". by Roger Clarke
  2. ^ "It started with a ping". University of Melbourne Newsroom. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
  3. ^ "Espn Cricinfo".
  4. ^ "Elz's staff listing at Thailand's Centre for Network Research".
  5. ^ "Department of Computer Engineering at the Prince of Songkla University".
  6. ^ "auDA and dot-au: History". Archived from the original on 27 December 2011. Retrieved 19 December 2011.