The ZA Central Registry (ZACR) has suspended the deletion of domain names for which the annual renewal fee has not yet been paid.
The termination of these domains has been postponed until the next round of scheduled deletions, which are set to take place on 24 April.
These measures have been taken as a result of the COVID-19 coronavirus lockdown currently ongoing in South Africa.
“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,” said ZACR CEO Lucky Masilela.
“We are, therefore, offering .ZA legacy domain name owners who are in arrears a respite by suspending our monthly deletions schedule.”
ZACR explained that the damage caused by deletions in times such as these can be extreme.
It is the curator of well over a million domain names and said that the postponement of these deletions should help South African users by keeping the Internet stable and not requiring businesses, organisations, and individuals to worry about their websites 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,” said ZACR.
Drastic increase in South African Internet traffic
South Africa has seen a substantial increase in Internet traffic during the shutdown.
According to NAPAfrica, it saw peak traffic of over 1.1Tbps on 25 March.
“We’ve seen a reasonable increase in video content consumption, but also saw an interesting increase in social media traffic,” NAPAfrica said.
Seacom also told MyBroadband it has seen a 15% increase in traffic across its network, while Cool Ideas said it had seen a substantial increase in Netflix traffic.
As a result of lockdowns taking place globally, video streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime Video have reduced the quality of their streams to deal with increased demand.