COVID-19 Update - 21st December 2020
As the .GG and .JE names are important part of Island life, we have long-established risk management and continuity plans in place to ensure that the registry continues with business as usual whatever the circumstance. This is also applicable to the role we play as the ‘back-end’ provider for .AS.
In response to the challenges of COVID-19, our primary task is to ensure continued operations whilst protecting our people. So, immediately upon receiving advice from the States of Guernsey's Civil Contingency Authority at the start of the pandemic we closed our offices at Maison Postel to visitors and employees.
Although our people would be classified as essential workers, we are extremely fortunate in that, with some adaptations, almost all of what we need to do can be done with a distributed team, working from home. And of course, we are quite used to using remote working tools, such as Zoom through the work we do with ICANN and CENTR. We have cancelled all in-person attendance at overseas and UK events for the indefinite future.
Although Guernsey has, and maintains a very low incidence of COVID (and Alderney remains COVID-free), several of our people are categorised as vulnerable, so we will continue to support home working, with our offices remaining closed to visitors for the foreseeable future. As the UK and the wider world appears to be in the grip of the second wave and a new strain of SARS-CoV2 appears to be spreading rapidly in the rest of the British Islands, we do not anticipate this changing soon.
Since the advent of COVID-19 we have also entered into an agreement with Nominet UK (the operators of .UK) who are now providing us with a secondary name resolution service for us. This is in addition to our existing “anycast” services. We have also continued to improve the security of the Islands' naming system and have implemented the DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC) which provides additional security to the local domains.
In addition, our work against DNS abuse continues . We have also now signed a comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding with ICANN on combating abuse and criminal activity, by joining the new DAAR program, which is a system for studying and reporting on domain name registration and security threat (domain abuse) behavior across top-level domain (TLD) registries.
Our support for the wider community
We are aware that a number of registrants may find their businesses struggling. Accordingly we added an additional renewal grace period before registrations are cancelled for non-payment. In addition, we have also been monitoring cancellations closely – where It appears possible that registrations might have been cancelled inadvertently, we are reaching out to the registrant to ensure that wanted domains are not lost to their owners.
Once the pandemic is over, business and enterprise will need a helping hand.
In our own island home of Alderney, we are now actively supporting local startup businesses through the medium of a new charity, the AY Enterprise Trust (Guernsey Registered Charity CH639) which was formed in early May. Please contact us for more information about this.