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China Loses 10,000 Domains To Quake

The 10,000 users lost their expiring .com domains when they were unable re-register after an underseas earthquake limited Internet access.

Chinese domain owners lost about 10,000 domain names because of the earthquake that cut undersea cables off the coast of Taiwan last month, state-controlled media reported Friday.

According to the official Xinhua wire service, the China International Network Information Center (CNNIC) said the 10,000 users lost their expiring .com domains when they were unable re-register. Domains must be regularly re-registered or they return to the pool of available addresses.

"Because the domain names are lost due to an act of God, enterprises and individuals involved may be appropriately compensated by the domain name server, but the scheme is still under discussion," Xinhua quoted a source close to the CNNIC.

The Dec. 26 quake, which was measured at magnitude 7.1 by the U.S. Geological Survey, struck 45 miles off Taiwan's southern coast, and cut numerous submarine data and phone cables in the region. Internet service was severely limited for several days in some countries as telecom companies struggled to use alternate links to the U.S. Repair ships have been dispatched to fix the damaged cables.

Xinhua reported that full Internet service to and from China should be restored by Jan. 15.

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