All the ingredients are in place for .ar to be top-ten ccTLD: Argentina has a population of 44 million and a per-capital GDP in the top third of all countries. .ar domain name registration is unrestricted and at current exchange rates, domains cost less than .com.
Still, large registrars have declined to market this TLD, if they offer it at all. While a market exists, this decision appears prudent when incidents occur such as those we’ve documented previously (see here and here), as well the recent period of instability that began last month.
The first sign of irregularities came in early March, when a message appeared on the interface saying that in-person payment methods were temporarily disabled. A week later, the payment gateway was revamped and and all payment methods were once again enabled.
Dropcatchers observed that around this time, the registry stopped releasing expired domains. Originally it was assumed that renewal grace was extended out of fairness to registrants that wanted to pay for a renewal in-person when it was impossible do so.
Fast forward six weeks and apart from the fact that long-expired domains continue to resolve, everything is back to normal. That all changes on April 11, when users attempting to access the interface with a foreign ID number are greeted with a blue screen saying there was an unexpected error in attempting to validate their credentials.
This situation has persisted over the past two weeks and registry personnel offer no estimates as to when it will be resolved. Hopefully we’re wrong, but the fact that nothing is happening to expired domains could be a sign that this is going to take a while.
As you’ve surely come to expect from Toweb, we’re not posting this merely to lament an unfortunate situation, but rather come with solutions in hand:
— Do you need to register a domain and are unable to do you in your registry account?
Toweb has a partner in Argentina that is able to operate normally. We can process your registrations through this company for 15 USD above your normal rate.
— Do you have domains with Toweb and need to modify DNS?
Raise a Ticket or reach out to your account manager. We’re able to request these modifications by sending a scanned form to the registry. They’ve been good about processing these requests promptly.
It’s unfortunate when these situations come up and cause more work for everyone, but if you’re working with .ar, you’re probably used to it. As always, Toweb is here to do the heavy-lifting and ensure that you can dedicate your time to your core product offering.