[LINK] RFI: The Process of Domain Redelegation
Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Mon Aug 23 10:41:43 AEST 2010
Much obliged for any pointers to sources, or explanations, re the
I've had the xamax.com.au domain delegated to a local ISP, Apex, for
so many years that I'd have to look at my archives to find out when I
Apex are a small outfit, not technically strong, and often not very
responsive. (Among other things, they not only still have their two
name-servers on the same sub-net, but they've shown no ability to
understand my several explanations why that's a bad thing, and no
ability to look up and understand the RFC I pointed them to).
During July, my email became inaccessible using POP from some
IP-addresses (including my home-office!), forcing me to rely on awful
webmail alternatives in the interim, and putting at risk my
all-but-complete and highly valuable email-archives dating back to
I was appalled by the lack of professionalism of 4 alternative
Australian ISPs that I checked out. They variously didn't respond,
had inadequate explanations on their web-site, responded very slowly,
and had significant errors in their documentation.
(Their documentation is all still geared to virgin newbies who are
delegating their domain-names for the first time, and provide no
information about how to transfer a delegation. So the salesmen have
failed to convey to the techos and/or the webmaster that there are
large numbers of people dissatisfied with their current suppliers,
that churn is inevitable, that churn needs to result in a net
increase to the ISP's customer-base, and that inbound churn needs to
be encouraged by providing easy processes supported by
easy-to-understand instructions. But I digress).
The first ISP that delivered a half-usable service was Grapevine
(originally NetConnect owned by ACTEW, then Grapevine owned by
ACTEW/Transact, now owned solely by Transact). They cocked up lots
of things along the way, but it did get up and running. If only
their spam-management tool actually worked, maybe I'd be happy.
My problem is this.
1. Grapevine said that I had to perform the redelegation myself.
Fair enough. I knew who my registrar was, and had the registry key.
After I'd clarified two separate errors by Grapevine in communicating
what their name-server addresses were, I changed the entries, and sat
back to await the change to trickle through the system (12-24 hours
In due course, that worked, although I suspect that they may have
mucked up the entries in their name-server at the first attempt,
because there was some very strange behaviour in the interim.
2. Apex continues to have entries in its own name-server for xamax.com.au.
I know that because I can login to it via webmail, and some email
continues to trickle into the account.
And the email that trickles into it is not only from Apex itself. It
includes occasional spams.
1. How is redelegation supposed to be performed these days?
Is there an authoritative description somewhere?
Should I ask IIA? Or maybe AuDA? Or maybe ISOC-AU?
What mechanism causes the old ISP to delete the entries from
its (previously authoritative) name-server?
2. Is it possible for the old entries in Apex's name-servers to
cause problems with email-delivery? (I'm aware of one important
message that's been sent several times from two different locations,
both in Canberra, all copies of which are lost in limbo somewhere)
I will of course send a message to Apex shortly, with explicit instructions.
But they failed to ever respond to my initial incident notification
in July, and I suspect they'll have trouble understanding what I'm
saying, and will have little motivation to help an ex-customer, and
hence I'd like to know what I'm talking about before I contact them.
Roger Clarke http://www.rogerclarke.com/
Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd 78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au http://www.xamax.com.au/
Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre Uni of NSW
Visiting Professor in Computer Science Australian National University
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