The current lockdown due to the rampant COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the livelihoods of billions of people all over the world. Since the only logical way to curb the spread of infections is to stay at home, the value of solid and reliable Internet is further brought into the spotlight.
While financial institutions and other creditors offer various relief measures, including debt repayment holidays, there are many other essential services that cannot be interrupted. Internet connectivity is one of them.
Access to fast, reliable and uninterrupted connectivity makes it possible to share updates on the measures to control the spread of COVID-19. It also enables the sharing of critical information easier, enables learners to continue studying at home while their schools remain closed.
Many providers of learning content have made their books freely downloadable to help. Mobile network operators and broadcasting corporations are offering many special packages to facilitate productive living and working during the lockdown. How can ZA Central Registry NPC (ZACR) play a constructive role to help during the lockdown? The brief answer: by keeping every website live.
ZACR is a non-profit company (NPC) responsible for the administration of the entire .ZA presence on the world wide web. For the duration of the COVID-19 lockdown, ZACR has decided to forthwith suspend deletions of domain names that are not in good standing with the Registry. This means that all “co.za”, “domains will not be deleted from the ZACR’s central domain name Registry for non-payment of annual renewal fees until the next round of scheduled deletions planned for 24 April 2020.
The damage caused by deletions in times of crisis can be dire. ZACR is the custodian of different .ZA second-level domains, such as co.za, net.za, org.za and web.za making ZACR the curator of well over 1,000,000 domain names. Its principal responsibility is to improve the uptake of the domain name registrations under its management.
“We all have to play our part in beating COVID-19, which threatens our very existence. The Internet has emerged as a vital tool in helping so many people sustain their livelihoods, continue to connect with each other and pursue a myriad of online educational and recreational pursuits. We are, therefore, offering .ZA legacy domain name owners who are in arrears a respite by suspending our monthly deletions schedule,” said Lucky Masilela, the CEO of ZACR.
“This should go a long way in ensuring the stability of the Internet, making it easier for individuals, companies and many organisations to continue to observe the lockdown, stay at home and be safe without worrying about being disconnected.
“That way, they can continue to Skype, communicate via video conference or hold Zoom meetings, follow different updates on social media, stream broadcast services and overall stay connected. We shall overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.”