It turns out that this is not a technical problem, but a billing issue. When the reports started to roll in we naturally suspected a technical problem, but then we realised that not all .com.zm domains were down. We contacted Coppernet about the domains that are down, and were informed that some of these clients have apparently not paid for their domain registrations since as far back as 2004! As a result, their sleepy accounts receivable department woke up for the first time in the better part of a decade, and cancelled these domains today.
Of course, this is clearly a Coppernet billing issue, not delinquency on the part of the clients, and this much was admitted by the customer service manager at Coppernet. However, until the millions of kwachas owing on these domains have been paid to Coppernet by the domain owners, these domains will remain offline.
This is a very interesting turn of events, because we have very recently started to offer an alternative Zambian top-level domain (TLD) for those clients who would like to use a domain that identifies them as Zambian, but who are sick and tired of the problems from both Zamnet and Coppernet with .co.zm, .com.zm and other dot-zm domains. The alternative TLD is .zam.co — i.e., you can register yourname.zam.co. Because we haven’t officially launched it yet we don’t have a website developed yet. However, you may check on the availability of and order .zam.co domains by contacting support, and it will be up and running immediately.
Pricing for .zam.co domains is a lot more palatable at only US$12 per annum too.