Kevin Robert Elz

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 .au

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, despite the commercialisation of the Internet and customer demands for quick turnaround times. He was also responsible for the controversial handing-over of the operation of "" to Melbourne IT in 1996.[6]


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