With the COVID-19 pandemic an ongoing crisis across the globe many businesses are currently closed. Some of them may never open again. While some governments are offering packages of financial assistance the current situation is going to hit many sectors really hard.
Against the backdrop of the current pandemic companies in the internet infrastructure have become even more important, as many businesses have switched to online orders only as their retail spaces have been shuttered.
But what about those businesses who are really feeling the pinch?
What about domain registrants who can’t access their work email at the moment?
And what about abuse?
Several of the domain name registries have announced changes to their policies to help mitigate the impact of the current crisis in some way. While some are focussed on assisting current domain registrants others are looking more at future registrations. In parallel with this a few companies have made announcements in relation to their actions in their communities.
- Verisign: they’ve committed to not increasing wholesale pricing this year a
nd are going to announce some kind of program to assist retail registrars, though details are not available yet.In common with other registries they’re waiving restore fees (April 2nd – June 1st)They’re also making some donations to assist first responders in Virginia.
- Google registry: they’re waiving the restore fees across all their TLDs (March 30th – August 1st)
- Donuts: Waiving restore fees across all TLDs (April 1st – May 31st)
- Afilias: Offering to rebate restore fees across all their owned TLDs subject to conditions (April 1st – June 30th)
- Radix: Offering to rebate restore fees across all TLDs (April 14th – June 30th)
- XYZ: Offering to waive restore fees across their TLDs (April 14th – June 30th)
- .blog – offering to waive restore fees (April 14th – June 30th)
- Top Level Design: Offering to waive restore fees (April 14th – June 30th)
- PIR (.org): Rebate for restore fees subject to conditions (April 1st – June 30th)
- ShortDot .icu: Waiving restore fees across their TLDs (March 1st – July 31st). They also say that they’re actively policing their zones using Registry Office for abusive registrations related to the outbreak
- .club: Waiving restore fees (April 10th – June 1st). No wholesale price increase until 2021.
- .cat registry:
Extending expiry grace periodsWaiving restore fees. Apparently this is a permanent change.
- .eus registry: Waiving restore fee (April 2nd – July 31st)
- .ie (Ireland) registry: Offering registrars some extra flexibility around renewals as well as introducing a new registration discount promotion
- .cl (Chile) registry: They’re extending domain expiry and deletion by 30 days each respectively (announcement here)
- .gal: They’re waiving the restore fee from April 6th
- .scot: Waiving restore fees until August 1st
- CORE: waiving restore fees for their IDN TLDs: .сайт (.xn--80aswg) .онлайн (.xn--80asehdb) .bazaar (.xn--mgbab2bdg) (April 1st – August 1st )
- .uk (Nominet): they’ve introduced a scheme allowing registrars to get funding towards renewals if they pass on a reduced price to their registrants. More details here.
- .br (Brazil): They’re extending the expiry period from 7 days to 60 days. More details here.
- ZACR (.za): From April 7th to April 24th domains in CO.ZA, ORG.ZA, NET.ZA and WEB.ZA won’t be suspended. These dates are aligned with the lockdown in South Africa
- .eu (EURid): Offering some co-marketing funding
- .ge / .je (Channel Islands): Modified their deletion cycle extending the period when registrars can restore a domain from 5 days to 12.
- .dk (Denmark): Apparently they’ve stopped suspending expiring domains
- .cz (Czech Republic): Expiry period extended from 30 to 60 days. See details here.
- .mx (Mexico): Domain recovery and restore fees waived. Grace period for domain name registration operations extended to 90 days. (April 16th – May 31st 2020)
- .me (Montenegro): Rebate for restore fees. Registrars must opt-in. (May 1st – July 31st)
- GMO Registry (.shop, .tokyo, .nagoya, .yokohama) Waiving restore fees (April 15th – July 31st)
If anyone knows of any other changes registries have introduced please let me know and I’ll update this post.
Over the past couple of weeks most staff at the various registrars and hosting providers around the globe have moved their staff to working from home. You’ve probably had emails from many companies about what they’re doing.
For businesses that are badly impacted by the current situation there’s no easy answer, but several of the registrars have said that they were amenable to working with their clients on this.
Many of the registrars, both large and small, have been keeping both a close eye on the business side of things as well as DNS abuse. While some, such as both GoDaddy and NameCheap, have made overt announcements I know many others, including my company, are watching their registrations closely. Others are involved with some of the community efforts to mitigate abuse such as this one.
It’ll be interesting to see if other domain name registries come up with any innovative ways of helping over the coming weeks and months.
The longer term impact of the pandemic will take a while to filter through the ecosystem, but I personally suspect that it will impact registries with a weaker business model ie. a lot of discretionary spending is going to evaporate in the coming months.
UPDATE 31st March
Added Donuts details to list.
UPDATE 1 April
- Verisign’s details added to list.
- .eus details added
UPDATE 2 April
- Details of ShortDot .icu added
UPDATE 4 April
- Added details for Nominet and .br
UPDATE 6 April
- Added details for Afilias
UPDATE 8 April
- Added details for ZACR (South Africa)
UPDATE 9 April
- Added details for PIR (.org)
- Added details for Radix
UPDATE 10 April
- Added details for CORE and .scot. Clarified details for .cat
UPDATE 14 April
- Added details of .blog, Top Level Design and XYZ
UPDATE 20 April
- Added details for .je / .gg, .eu, .dk, .cz
UPDATE 21 April
- Added details for .mx
UPDATE 24 April
- Added details for .me
- Added details for GMO