The CA Domain Debacle

I’ve spent the balance of the day trying to re-register Internet names in the CA domain (i.e. reinvented.ca). Up until recently registration in the CA domain was free, and was maintained by an arm of UBC. Administration of the domain is in the process of being switched to a new organization called CIRA (which seems to just be CANARIE in disguise). The process is not going well. I opted to use webnames to do the re-registration — they’re one of the new “CIRA-accredited” private outfits that process registrations for a fee. Everything went pretty smoothly on the webnames website — I selected and paid for the domain names in question and got a receipt along with a password to take me to a special page on the CIRA website where I’m supposed to read and agree to abide by an [insane] multi-page [316K!] document. This is where the “fun” starts. CIRA was obviously woefully unprepared for this exercise, and their software was under-tested, for I received a variety of errors throughout the day ranging from SQL server “too many connections” errors to scripting errors to simply having my connection to their webserver refused. To quote a technical support person from webnames, when asked about CIRA: “their website’s basically fucked.” At this point, I’ve managed to process three of four domains. It’s taken about 8 hours. Sigh.

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