LACTLD conducted a survey among its members to find out how they have responded operationally and what actions have been implemented by the ccTLDs in the region in response to the advance of the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of the study was to share and build on the experiences and policies promoted by all members. The most relevant findings are described below.
Firstly, it is noteworthy that 100% of the surveyed organizations implemented remote working as a way to continue operations during the pandemic. To do so, they had to put in place technical measures such as process automation, enabling and tuning tools for remote work, and establishing rotating shifts to ensure that technical staff remained available until certain tasks could be performed remotely. In these cases, the hygiene measures recommended by the health agencies in each country were implemented.
71% of ccTLDs surveyed stated that they do not feel their work productivity has been affected by the COVID-19 crisis. The remaining 29% believe that it was, at least temporarily.
In terms of market demand, 53% of respondents reported that the number of domain name registrations remained stable, while 47% reported a reduction in the number of registrations. As for the number of domains renewed, in the vast majority of cases (87%) it remained unchanged. Only 13% of those surveyed noted a decrease in the number of renewals, possibly due to the initial adjustment to lockdown.
Faced with the exceptional circumstances caused by the pandemic, ccTLDs implemented special strategies. 60% decided to extend the deadline for the payment of renewals. Other measures reported by respondents were extended grace periods in individual cases, extended renewal deadlines for government domains, discounts for new domain name registrations, and the temporary suspension (without prejudice to registrants) of domain name payments by check or cash in order to respect the lockdown mandated by the authorities. As additional measures, business continuity plans were also adapted to the health and isolation conditions enforced in response to the pandemic.
LACTLD thanks all of its members for their input and hopes that this information will be of interest to the community.