'.info' registrations suffer technical problems


It appears that '.info' registry operator Afilias severely underestimated the number of people who wanted to register '.info' domain names at the beginning of its open registration period. Long term, the demand may prove to be a boon for the company. For now, however, it appears it has overwhelmed the company's technology.

Afilias launched real-time '.info' domain name registration for the general public on October 1, but the new system crashed within hours of launch. Although the system has since been restored, Afilias must now make major improvements to ensure that its registry can handle the load.

Upon launch, Afilias found that some of the companies that had registered names were having difficulty accessing the system, which prevented potential registrants from having an equal chance to secure the names of their choice. "We couldn't remedy it while it was still operating, so to make sure everyone had equal access we decided to take the registry down for maintenance," said Roland LaPlante, Afilias's vice-president of marketing.

Despite the difficulties, Afilias continues to hail its real-time system as a marketing boon for companies because it lets them register domain names and launch sites within minutes. Registrations of '.com' domain names can take as long as 24 hours. La Plante believes the opening of real-time registration is a fantastic opportunity for all small and medium-sized businesses which can no longer get their preferred domain name with a '.com' suffix.

Douglas Wood and Linda Goldstein, Hall Dickler Kent Goldstein & Wood LLP, New York

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