Well, someone is having a very bad day. Australia’s National Broadcaster the ABC was offline for over an hour today – not it’s TV broadcasts, but all it’s online activities were gone – disappeared from the internet. Why? Well, someone forgot to pay for the ABC.net.au domain name.

At least that’s the most likely scenario right now.

An hour or two ago late on Monday afternoon users began reporting they couldn’t access the ABC website. This also extends to the popular streaming service iView where millions of Aussie kids watch Bluey.

EFTM was unable to login to iView, though it is possible users who were already logged in are able to view content which is unlikely to be hosted on the abc.net.au domain.

A domain name itself (EFTM.com or ABC.net.au) is it’s own property, up for renewal on an annual or bi-annual basis. This small fee (under $100) needs to be paid to the domain registrar.

As long as the registrar keeps the domain active, the rest all works. The rest being the DNS (Domain name servers) which are the critical link between us typing abc.net.au and actually seeing the content hosted on servers for us to access.

While it is being reported that the issue is with ABC’s DNS services, it’s more likely a registrar issue, as the domain abc.net.au is currently in a “client hold” – a status normally meaning ” the domain’s registry will not activate the domain in the DNS and the domain will not resolve.”

ABC is aware of the issue, but has offered no timeframe for resolution. As we write this, Services including the ABC website were restored at 6.44pm this evening.

This outage should serve as a great reminder to all business owners, ask yourself, and your IT team these questions:

  • When is our domain name due for renewal?
  • Who is responsible for that renewal?
  • Who is the Administrative contact on our domain name?