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.