COVID-19 Information and other news (June 2022)
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 responsbility we have for American Samoa as technical operator of the .AS domain registry.
Since early 2020, responding to the challenges of COVID-19, our primary task has been to ensure continued operations whilst protecting our people.
So, immediately upon receiving advice from the States of Guernsey's Civil Contingency Authority at the very start of the pandemic we closed our offices at Maison Postel in Alderney to visitors and employees, with the exception of necessary maintenance visits.
Although our people would have been classified as essential workers, were were, unlike some other organisations, extremely fortunate in that, with some adaptations, all of what we need to do can be done by a distributed team, working from their homes in Alderney, with additional support from our other colleagues in East Anglia and South Africa. And of course, we are very, used to using remote working tools, such as Zoom through the work we do with ICANN and CENTR.
Back in 2020, We cancelled all in-person attendance at overseas and UK events for the indefinite future and this remains in force as of the beginning of 2022.
Although for much of the pandemic, the Bailiwick of Guernsey acheived very low incidences of COVID-19, several of our people have family members who are categorised as vulnerable, so we have continue to support home working, and our offices remain closed. With some adaptations (we are currently looking at opening an small touchdown office back in St Anne's House), remote working is likely to become a permanent part of our work culture.
OMICRON AND ITS VARIANTS: The COVID-19 situation continues to change and develop rapidly, with the emergence of novel, and highly transmissible variants (and sub-variants) of the SARS-nCoV2 virus. As of the date of writing (June 2022), life in the Bailiwick has largely returned to a semblance of pre-pandemic normality and COVID-19 appears to have become endemic. Nontheless, the prevelance of Omicron re-emphasised our decision to continue with allowing our people to work from home.
If you have any questions at all regarding our COVID protocols, please do not hesitate to make contact by calling (01481) or (01534) 521713 for the latest information or, if your question is non-urgent, email us as per the details on our Contact Page (preferred).
Since COVID-19 we entered into an agreement with Nominet UK (the operators of .UK) who are now providing us with an additional 'anycast'a secondary name resolution service. This is in addition to our existing “anycast” services from our 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. We have a comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding with ICANN on combating abuse and criminal activity within the DAAR program. DAAR is a system for studying and reporting on domain name registration and security threat (domain abuse) behaviour across top-level domain (TLD) registries.
We have also been in regular contact with colleagues in the .UA (Ukraine) registry and since the outbreak of war we were privileged (in conjunction with other ccTLD operators) to be in a postition to offer such assistance as they might need to keep the .UA domain functioning normally even should the country have fallen under occupation. We are pleased that this has not proved necessary..
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.