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,[1] helping connect Australia to the world-wide Internet,[2] developing the internet-based research network within Australia, and operating the .au domain registry from 1986 through to the late 1990s.[3] He also managed the aus.* Usenet hierarchy from its inception in the 1980s until the mid-1990s.[4]

He is an Honorary Fellow at the University of Melbourne,[5] where for some years he worked in the Computer Science department.

He is also credited for pioneering online text commentary for cricket matches.[6]

Having previously lived and worked in Melbourne for many years, he currently lives in Hat Yai, Songkhla, Thailand,[7] where he is an honorary lecturer in the Computer Engineering Department of the Prince of Songkla University.[8]

Operation of[edit]

As the architect of the early domain-name eligibility criteria for "", Elz was 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.[9]

Elz was, however, criticised during his tenure, as domain name applications often took many months to be examined, despite the commercialisation of the Internet and customer demands for quick turnaround times. In 1990, Elz delegated responsibility for the "" and "" domains to Geoff Huston at the Australian National University. Elz handed the operation of "" to Melbourne IT in 1996. Responsibility for other domains was transferred to auDA in 2001.[9]


  1. ^ "Profile for Robert Elz". Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  2. ^ "'Link is up': 25 years since Australia connected permanently to the internet". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  3. ^ "The Internet in Australia". by Roger Clarke
  4. ^ "On the Early Days of Usenet: The Roots of the Cooperative Online Culture. (Chapter 10)". First Monday ISSN 1396-0466. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  5. ^ "It started with a ping". University of Melbourne Newsroom. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
  6. ^ "Espn Cricinfo".
  7. ^ "Elz's staff listing at Thailand's Centre for Network Research".
  8. ^ "Department of Computer Engineering at the Prince of Songkla University".
  9. ^ a b "auDA and dot-au: History". Archived from the original on 27 December 2011. Retrieved 19 December 2011.