Registrants of domain names in gTLDs have been given relief by ICANN should they be facing hardship resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes concerns about the ability of registrants to renew their domain names in a timely manner given current circumstances.
To ease the burden, ICANN announced in a blog post last week they will be invoking section 22.214.171.124 of the 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement for the second time. This clause permits registrars to temporarily forebear from cancelling domain name registrations that were unable to be renewed as a result of a natural disaster.
The post by Russ Weinstein, Senior Director, gTLD Accounts and Services, notes “the COVID-19 pandemic once again highlights the potential need for a policy initiative to protect registrants when they are unable to renew their domains as a result of natural disasters or other extraordinary circumstances. In the interim, we encourage contracted parties to take these circumstances into consideration when reviewing renewal delinquencies.”