Websites go offline over new domain rules

Several websites ‘expire’ after failing to register

Several Cayman Islands websites, including the government’s Economics and Statistics Office, were taken offline after failing to renew their registrations and pay fees under a new regulatory regime. 

The Information and Communications Technology Authority started putting websites that have not confirmed their .ky domain name registrations and paid the new annual US$40 fee into “expiry mode” on Monday. 

The Economics and Statistics Office and Cayman Prep school were among a number of entities’ local websites that were inaccessible this week, although the ESO appeared to have rectified the oversight and was up and running again Wednesday afternoon. 

Anyone with a .ky website has until Sept. 2 to renew their registration before those Web addresses become publicly available. 

The new registration process was announced in March, with global domain registry operator Uniregistry contracted to manage the transition. 

Alee Fa’Amoe, managing director of ICTA, said there was no excuse for any business or organization not to have registered. 

“To those folks that are down because they didn’t pay attention, get with the program,” Mr. Fa’Amoe said. “You are embarrassing everybody. It is ridiculous to think you can’t keep your website up because of a simple administrative change.” 

Michael Ward of Uniregistry said any domain that had not been renewed by July 22 is expired and would be inaccessible. 

“The original registrant still has the opportunity to renew until Sept. 2, and during that time no one else can register the domain,” he added. 

After Sept. 2, unregistered domain names will be available globally. 

Mr. Fa’Amoe said around 6,000 of the 10,000 businesses, organizations and government entities which had .ky domain names had registered. 

He said his office had fielded a few complaints this week from organizations whose sites had been taken offline. 

He said ICTA had been publicizing the changes since March and had been in direct contact with everyone who had a .ky domain name. 

He said putting the sites into expiry served as a final warning to get registered or risk losing the domain name. 

Of the 4,000 entities that have not renewed their registrations, he said, only a fraction are functioning websites. The others could have been registered and not developed into sites. 

Around 1,000 domain names were registered overseas and were therefore not able to be renewed, he said. 

After Sept. 2, all unregistered .ky domain names will be available on the global open market and could be bought and resold. 

Certain site names have been held back as a fraud protection measure at the request of official entities, while other potentially commercially lucrative domain names are being held by ICTA for auction. 

Mr. Fa’Amoe said registration fees would help fund the proper management of the .ky domain. 

“We are no longer the island that time forgot. We can no longer ignore technology and expect to compete as the fifth largest financial center in the world,” he said. 


  1. It appears as though ITCA has does just about everything it could do to notify users of the .ky domain subset. Lax administrative management by the domain owners is their problem, so the embarrassment is theirs alone.

    However, I do not agree with the ITCA policy of holding back certain domain names to auction at a profit. After all, this is supposed to be a public serving organization, not one that serves itself.

  2. actually not so true. In many cases where it is not so straightforward (eg where the confirmation email goes to an email account that is no longer active) the ICTA was extremely slow and/or non-responsive. I have been trying to register my domain since May and still don’t have a response despite numerous calls and emails. I have heard of several others with the same problem.