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NSI blooper erases legitimate domain names

Network Solutions confirms that it accidentally cut off a handful of legitimate domain names during a routine sweep to purge unpaid registrations.

Network Solutions accidentally cut off a handful of legitimate domain names during a routine sweep to purge unpaid registrations, the company confirmed today.

Several domain name registrants complained to CNET News.com that their addresses had been suddenly cut off between Monday and today.

Network Solutions (NSI) said that except for about ten names, it had notified customers--who had thousands of domain names on hold--that their registrations would be revoked if they were not paid for immediately. Names ending with ".com," ".net," and ".org" can be held for up to 60 days before payment is required by NSI.

"This was part of an ongoing sweep we make to address these delinquent domain name holders," said Cheryl Regan, a spokeswoman for NSI.

"In this sweep, there were a few cases where domain names were deleted that appear to be legitimate. It was a mistake and something we're working quickly to address now, although some were fixed yesterday," she said.

Network Solutions' sweeps are a part of its ongoing campaign to cut down on so-called speculators, who register names and then try to resell them for high stakes. Often speculators let go of a name if they can't find a buyer.

But some registrants this week claim that they were never notified that their names could be suspended by NSI.

Gilinda Rogers, a Web developer, who holds about 700 domain names including "bestofsanfrancisco.com," said that 234 of her domains were repossessed--eight of which had been paid for, including "localnews.org."

"Not only have they cut them off, but they've allowed other people to reregister them, so this is really wreaking havoc on my business," Rogers said. "They didn't send me a notice on email or paper. I'm not a speculator."