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Zambian domain registrars again taking detrimental action

28 November 2020 04:23:18 +0000

In April we informed you that we had achieved ZICTA accreditation through our partner Preworx. The primary motivation for doing this was to provide reliable domain registration service to Zambians because, as is shown in this blog, the Zambian ccTLD (country code top-level domain) has been very badly managed by the accredited/registered ISPs that provide registrar service. By becoming an accredited registrar ourselves we hoped (and continue to hope) that we could bring our legendary customer service to dot-zm registrants, to give them peace of mind that their domains will operate as expected.

Since April we have taken a number of actions to provide improved service to dot-zm registrants:

  • We have rescued quite a number of domains that were registered through Coppernet,
  • We have helped the registrants of some domains that were previously hosted with or registered through Microlink,
  • We set up an example domain at example.com.zm,
  • We have updated the WHOIS information for all domains that we’ve transferred in from other registrars, so that they are using current and correct contact information and are compliant with all expected norms as far as contact information is concerned,
  • Many domains transferred in from other registrars had expiry dates as long as ten years ago, but all domains have been renewed up to the present, and
  • We have brought some domains “home” from overseas where they were managed by companies gouging Zambians for hundreds of US dollars per year for domain registrations.

We have also been able to use our status as a registrar with direct and established contact with ZICTA to address a number of situations where dot-zm domains were unduly taken offline due to actions taken by their previous registrars. Most recently this took place yesterday (27 November) when domains that are with the registrar AfriConnect (officially, but also known as iConnect and now “inq.”) were taken offline because their nameservers were changed by iConnect/inq without request or authorisation from the registrants. This took these domains offline all day yesterday until finally, at the end of the day, they were restored to working condition again.

Similar issues have taken place with Zamnet and Coppernet in the past, although the latter is no longer in business and the issues with the former took place before our accreditation, so we were not able to do anything except sit on the sidelines and shout! In one recent case a client’s dot-co.zm domain, registered with Zamnet, was down for over a month before it was sorted out by Zamnet! The expiry date on that domain still shows as 2015 in the WHOIS!

These situations are all examples of the fact that dot-zm domains registered with anyone other than NinerNet are in jeopardy of going offline at any time with no notice to the registrants or NinerNet. This is intolerable. Although it is not a technical requirement, ever since April we have insisted that new clients transferring in existing dot-zm domains to our hosting service also transfer their domain registration for management by NinerNet/Preworx. Any existing clients who choose not to transfer their domain registrations to NinerNet will be pointed to this blog post to ensure that they are aware of the risk they are taking if they leave their dot-zm domain registered with another registrar.

Finally, we are continuing to sell dot-zm domain registrations, renewals and transfers for K175.00 per year (50% off!) until 31 December 2020. Contact NinerNet today to arrange for the registration, renewal or transfer of your dot-zm domain!

Microlink has apparently shut down

14 September 2020 03:24:27 +0000

Microlink last week apparently sent an email to their customers stating that they were suddenly “shutting down their hosting services”. According to some reports, there weren’t many customers left to send the emails to. However, one of them contacted us and with cooperation from ZICTA we were able to transfer their dot-zm domain under our management, and we got them back online the same day.

However, another former Microlink customer who contacted us wanted to get their @microlink.zm email address working again. We had to inform them that we are unable to do that, because we don’t manage the microlink.zm domain and its DNS and email accounts. It remains under the management of Microlink, or whatever is left of it.

We did contact the (apparently) former IT manager at Microlink (Sanjeev) to offer assistance with moving clients to new hosting and to host email on microlink.zm, but we have not had a response … and quite frankly don’t expect one.

If you are a former hosting customer of Microlink — i.e., you have your own domain, dot-zm or otherwise — that was hosted with them, please contact us and we will assist you in getting your domain back online as quickly as possible. We have the expertise and experience.


Update, 2020-09-18: Although we can’t replace what you lost when Microlink shut down unexpectedly, we can try and ease your pain. If you contact us and sign up before the end of September 2020, we will host you for no charge for ONE YEAR (for a maximum of 25 email addresses), including bringing your dot-zm domain registration up to date. Click here to contact us by email now.

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This is the corporate blog of NinerNet Communications. It's where we post announcements, inform and educate our clients, and discuss issues related to the Internet (web and email) hosting business and all it entails. This includes concomitant industries and activities such as domain registration, SSL/TLS certificates, online back-up, virtual private servers (VPS), cloud hosting, etc. Please visit our main website for more information about us.

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