Situation in Haiti and the DNS

by Kim Davies on January 14, 2010

We have received a lot of communication concerning the devastation in Haiti, particularly its impact on Internet function and the .HT top-level domain. Here are the basic facts:

  • We have been in contact with the administrators of .HT and they are alive and well, although understandably overwhelmed dealing with the tragedy there. Other ICANN fellows in the country have been contacted and accounted for. Regrettably, some have lost their homes and are impacted heavily by the tragedy.

  • Some of the name servers for .HT are not reachable from outside Haiti due to significant damage to the local telecommunications infrastructure. Work is underway to re-establish Haiti’s links to the world through the Dominican Republic.

  • Despite some of the DNS infrastructure not working as expected, the DNS is a highly resilient protocol, and the .HT domain continues to function through a number of sites located outside of Haiti. Haiti’s name server partners are aware of the situation and also taking additional measures so that should technical reachability of Haiti deteriorate, function of .HT can continue uninterrupted.

Functioning telecommunications can make a real difference in recovering from a major natural disaster. The naming and numbering infrastructure is just a small piece of this, but we want to be sure it continues to function so that it is not the obstacle that prevents people communicating. We’d like to thank all our friends and partners, particularly those in Haiti, who have been working the last couple of days to ensure we can best help the community emerge from this disaster.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Elaine Pruis 01.14.10 at 8:15 pm

Thank you for the update Kim. Because the .HT NIC follows best practice protocol of diverse and redundant DNS four of the six HT NS have continued to resolve through the disaster, with PCH updating the zones files. Thanks to all involved in making sure this vital piece of communications remains available. It is at times like these that I most appreciate the thoughtful consideration of the engineers, policy planners, and administrators.
Elaine Pruis

Eric Brunner-Williams 01.15.10 at 1:13 am


Thanks for the updates on Max and Stéphane.

The Katrina experience was that no-wireline (data and power) persists for weeks, so vsat, 6volt, inverters and generators are mandatory for each persistent, isolated, routed subnet.

The buildout from zero may not replicate the pre-quake wireline infrastructure, and that will determine the basic shape of access providers, and won’t rely upon the same emergency power and routing elements.

If you’re going to organize, or just be a poc, there are two inventories of gear to assemble, the wireless, self-powered pallets for “now”, and the fungible donated kit from the US for “later”.

Again, thanks for the updates on Max and Stéphane.

chandan 01.15.10 at 4:34 am

thanks for the updates. hope the haiti will be back to normal as early as possible.

Federico 01.20.10 at 2:21 pm

Is not it possible to divert traffic to the DNS of haiti?

oyun oyna 01.26.10 at 7:55 am

thanx you the updates.

Paolo Chilosi 01.27.10 at 3:22 pm

the site of multilink is pretty secure, we did not lost comunications after the earthquake, we will be glad to colocate at no charge a secodary .ht DNS server if this could improve the resisience on the domain.

Alba 07.22.10 at 7:49 am

Thanks to all involved in making sure this vital piece of communications remains available.

Steven 07.24.10 at 6:52 am

Thanks for the updates on Max and Stéphane.

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