The armed conflict in Libya has made its first .ly victim. An email subscription service called Letter.ly announced loosing its domain name because it couldn't renew it.Because of the war, there are few organizations still functioning properly in the North-African country that uses the .ly country code top-level domain.
Amid a shortage of food and other basic supplies in Tripoli, the well functioning of the Internet is pretty low on the contested government's priorities right now.
It's therefore no wonder that the General Post and Telecommunication Company of Libya, which sponsors the .ly ccTLD and runs the country's domain name registry, does not respond to requests at the moment.
This poses a problem for companies like Letterly, whose .ly domain names are about to expire and cannot be renewed.
"Hello letterly authors, last week, the agency that we used to register the letter.ly domain was taken down as a side effect of the war in libya (.ly is the libyan top level domain).
"Our domain registration expired, and we were unable to renew it. As the expiration propagated, the site appeared to be dead and emails sent to your subscribers probably bounced," the letter.ly team said in an announcement.
The company apologized for the incident, which was out of their control, and advised everyone that the service switched to letterly.net.
"This means that you will send emails to email@example.com, instead of firstname.lastname@example.org, and new subscribers should be directed to letterly.net/yoururl," the email also noted.
Of cours, it would have been better if the team had come out with a warning before the actual domain expired, informing everyone that requests to the Libyan General Post and Telecommunication Company go unanswered so they can prepare for the switch.
Hopefully other services that depend on the .ly ccTLD will not be impacted in the short term, but it would be a good idea for them to start planning for the worst.