About 900 New Zealand domain names were marked for cancellation as the ISOCNZ Registry deadline arrived yesterday.
The names are those whose owners have not re-registered them in the year since the Internet Society took over management of the New Zealand DNS.
When @IDG checked with Registry spokesman Patrick O'Brien late yesterday, the flow had shifted from the re-registrations of recent weeks to a late surge of cancellations of unwanted names.
"From about 8000 names registered before July last year, we had around 600 cancellations as of Friday - and I've processed at least 100 more today," said O'Brien. "We could get as many as 400 more in the next few days."
The block of 18 names registered last year by the Blue Star Group, apparently as a defensive measure against name speculators, had not been cancelled. But they will now not be re-registered, according to a spokeswoman for Netbyte, Blue Star's ISP.
O'Brien says messages were sent to the 150 servers listed as hosting the names over the weekend - the third such mailshot the Registry has conducted. A look at the host records of many of the names revealed "some common threads" he said, and "it appears that some people have in the past taken a bunch of generic names which they no longer want."
But other people might. O'Brien started getting email enquiries about the availability of names on the list as far back as April, and there are certainly some attractive generic names due to become available.
The domains on yesterday's list will not actually be cancelled for a further two weeks. Even then, the original holders will have a 60-day period of grace, within which they will be able to freshly register at the cost of a $96.75 new registration fee.
"I'm sure that when we do terminate the names, there will be a few which shouldn't be terminated," said O'Brien. "In that case people should call us and we should be able to have their domain working again by the end of the day."
A number of local and national government entities still feature on the lists, but O'Brien says that given the late change of management of the .govt.nz domain from Victoria University to ISOCNZ, such agencies have "converted very quickly - suggesting that they're a very focused group. It only took us about four weeks to get 60% of them registered - I wish the rest of cyberspace could move that fast."
The final list will be published at the Registry site, www.registry.org.nz, on Wednesday. The Registry's phone number is 04-473-4567.
In the meantime, @IDG has culled a few highlights from the finalists:
Warning! Potentially Tasty Generics!
Shouldn't Somebody Tell Them?
Really Should Know Better
Name No Longer Required By Owner
Back From The Brink
(deleted by former ISP last week, listed in "registrations in progress" yesterday morning)