COVID-19 Information and other news
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 in 2020 we closed our offices at Maison Postel to visitors and employees, with the exception of necessary maintenance visits.
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 cancelled all in-person attendance at overseas and UK events for the indefinite future and this remains in force.
Although the Bailiwick of Guernsey had acheived very low incidences of COVID-19 to date, several of our people have family members who are categorised as vulnerable, so we continue to support home working, and our offices remain closed.
The Civil Contingencies Authority has now agreed that the whole Bailiwick is likely to be in a position to fully opern our borders to the other Crown Dependencies (Jersey and the Isle of Man), the UK, and also to Ireland.
We are currently in a position to re-open Maison Postel. However as before, and with more recent adaptation, almost all of our work can be done remotely, we have take the decision that it should remain closed for the time being.
Since the advent of COVID-19 we 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 from trusted partners Netnod and PCH.
We have also continued to improve the security of the Islands' naming system and have now fully implemented the DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC) which provides additional security to the local domains.
In addition, our work against DNS abuse continues. e signed a comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding with ICANN on combating abuse and criminal activity, by joining the new DAAR program. DAAR 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 if it is of interest to you.