NSI Confirms Domains Mistakenly Shut Down

Network Solutions officials Wednesday confirmed the firm erroneously
pulled the plug on 10 domains earlier this week as part of a broad effort
to thwart domain speculators.

“There have been a few mistakes where we deleted a legitimate domain
holder,” said NSI
spokesperson Cheryl Regan. “We’re working quickly case by case to fix that,
and some have already been fixed.”

As previously reported, a handful of domain holders, including two Internet
service providers serving thousands of customers, told InternetNews.com their sites mysteriously disappeared from Network Solution’s root servers
Monday night, making it impossible for Internet users to navigate to their
sites or send them e-mail.

NSI’s Regan said the accidental deletions occurred during the
company’s regular monthly review of delinquent domain registrants, which
the company defines as customers who register a large number of domains and
fail to make timely payments on them.

“When you’re registering tens of thousands of dollars worth of names and
you’re not paying for them, you’re going to get our attention,” Regan said.

In such cases, NSI notifies customers that they must pay for all their
active domains immediately or risk losing them, according to Regan. She
said the company also instructs delinquent customers that henceforth they
must pre-pay when registering new domains.

The term “domain speculator” refers to individuals who register web
addresses with no intent to develop sites or arrange name service for them.
Many hope to re-sell the domains to high bidders at a profit. Because NSI’s
Internic registration service does not require payment on a domain until a
30-day grace period expires, speculators sometimes register and hold
domains for weeks before NSI deactivates and deletes them for non-payment.

NSI registered nearly 2 million domains in 1998, double the previous year’s
results. The spike has led to recent delays in processing new applications
and payments. Besides implementing policies to thwart speculators, the
company says it has hired new registration staff and beefed up its equipment.

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