RealTime IT News

.ca Deadline Causes Online Crunch

As Canadian Web operators attempt to comply with a new .ca domain system, many are finding themselves unable to log on to the Web site for the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA).

As of October 23, 2000, over 22,000 requests for re-registration of existing .ca domain names have been submitted to the CIRA Registry. There are about 100,000 domain names registered in the UBC registry.

However, CIRA is aware of the problem and doing its best to appease registrants.

"Two to three weeks ago we were getting several thousand emails a day from people who were reporting problems getting on the Web site or who had questions," he said. "Now, we are only getting about four or five from people who could not get on our Web site. For me, given the type of environment, this is quite normal."

Those operators who are unable to meet the November 1 deadline will not lose their domain names, assured Bernard Turcot, CIRA's director operations. "Even if you don't re-register and your domain goes off-line, you will not lose the name. We will keep it for you," he said.

The registration process is actually being conducted in two parts. From November 1 to November 7, CIRA will only accept requests for registration in the CIRA registry of .ca domain names already registered in the University of British Columbia's (UBC) registry.

"The new CIRA Registry is important to Canadians and we want to give those who currently have .ca domain names every opportunity to re-register before the anticipated flood of requests for new registrations," says Maureen Cubberley, chair, CIRA Board.

The second phase, which starts on November 8, 2000, will enable those who meet the Canadian Presence Requirements to register new domain names in the .ca Registry.

"Deferring the second phase by a few days will make the transition from the UBC system to the new CIRA Registry more orderly," says Glen Bloom, vice-chair, CIRA Board. "New applicants will not be disadvantaged by the phasing because the first phase will only permit the re-registration of domain names already in the UBC registry. In any event, existing names are protected against registration by someone other than the current registrant until January 31, 2001."

The rules for registration changed on September 18. To obtain a .ca domain name, Web sites are no longer required to have a federally incorporated company.

To re-register an existing .ca domain name or to request registration of a new name, it is necessary to retain a CIRA certified registrar. There are now about 40 certified registrars. The list of registrars and links to their sites are available at CIRA in the Registrant section.

Brian McWilliams, host of InternetNews Radio, contributed to this article.