downtime - 4th-6th June 2023

gravelldgravelld Administrator
edited June 2023 in General

From the morning of 4th June until the afternoon of 6th June, was completely unavailable. The website was not reachable and neither was Astiga's web player, community forums, and apps will not have been able to contact to playback music.

The reason is that, on the 4th June, ANINF, the organisation responsible for the .ga TLD, abruptly terminated their contract with the existing TLD registry operator, Freenom. was registered at Freenom (although its DNS records were not hosted there). It is not clear, at this time, what decision was taken about existing domains, but at the time of writing it seems that ANINF simply decided to not transfer any domains from Freenom. Only a small handful of .ga domains appeared to be online (those of the Gabonese government) following the takeover.

As a previous sufferer of Freenom's abysmal attempts to fulfil domain registry services, we at Astiga support the transfer of management to ANINF and we hope the .ga TLD will be much better served in the future. It was a shame, though, that more could not be communicated about this, to allow us to plan and avoid the downtime.

What we did (in the short term)

We reconfigured the Astiga servers to use the domain that we purchased to use in the event of further domain unreliability. We managed to get the web app working again, but because the Android app is hardcoded to use, this meant it was still not operational. We sent out our progress on social media so affected users could use these workarounds.

After being prompted by one of our users, I re-checked a social media conversation I was involved in, and found that an alternative registrar for .ga domains existed; I thus re-purchased, configured the domain, reconfigured our servers again, and now we should be back up and running.

The situation now

As far as I am aware, our systems are fully operational again. As ever, please let us know if you find issues.

ANINF's migration process is documented to run until the 7th June. There's a possibility there may be more disruption during this process. If that's the case I'll roll back again to to allow as many people to access the service as possible.

What we're going to do next

In some ways it would be easiest to say "f*** it, we're going with".

Unfortunately, it's not that easy, because there are a number of factors that make remaining on more attractive.

The obvious first one is the mobile app - we'd have to roll out a new version which used, and this would put people at some inconvenience. And then there are the other apps too.

More worrying is the brand and marketing "power" we've built for A lot of our traffic and eventual customers come from Google, and Google ranks websites (with a bunch of other factors) according to how many high quality references there are to our domain. If we lose the domain, we lose the marketing power. We can "redirect" that power to an extent, but it's probably not a 100% transfer.

So here's what we're going to do:

  • We're going to remain on for now, and be especially wary of changes in the short term as the ANINF migration completes. Outcomes of that migration may influence our decision as to which domain to remain with.
  • We were going to do this anyway this quarter, but we're going to add the ability to fallback to an alternative domain in the Android app, so that can keep working if there are further problems with
  • We're going to re-imburse everyone for three days lost access to the service. For monthly users, we'll call that 1/10th of your bill (3 days lost/30-ish days paid for) and for yearly subscribers that will be 3/365ths of your bill. This will be a manual process so bear with us on this, it might take a week or so.

I've just read this message back and realised I haven't apologised. I do apologise; I recognise the ultimate responsibility for the availability of the Astiga service is with us. I hope that both the .ga registry takeover by ANINF and our next steps will improve the service availability further.

I'd also like to say thank-you to our users. 100% of the messages I received during this period were supportive and constructive. Services where the customers and suppliers work together are those that develop for mutual benefit, and everyone wins.


  • nodicenodice Member


    Thank you for the detailed explanation. I appreciate the transparency.

    I noticed in the ANiNF announcement you linked to, they reference "widespread technical abuse on '.ga' domain names." They go on to say "As part of this switch-over operation, several million domain names will be deleted as the previous operator has not provided the data that concern them." Are they referring to companies that are not, in fact, located in Gabon using the .ga TLD? If they are, will this necessitate a name/address change for regardless of what you do in the short-term? (I'm assuming, of course, that is not located in Gabon, so correct me if I am mistaken on this point)

  • gravelldgravelld Administrator

    The "widespread technical abuse" refers to, I think, the massive amount of spam and malicious websites hosted on .ga (and .tk, .ml etc) domains, that has long been known. Because these domains were sold for free, they were used en-masse to host malicious activities.

    So far, we've been allowed to re-register, but I agree we may be at the mercy of ANINF long term, so we'll have to keep a check on that.

  • gravelldgravelld Administrator

    Ok, I've just run all the refunds. They should take 5 days to arrive (probably instant for Paypal customers)

    If I missed anyone I apologise; I performed the refunds manually so I'm sure I missed a click somewhere. Get in touch here or via and I'll re-run your refund.

    In particular I noticed I copy/pasted the wrong message to some monthly customers, saying I was refunding 3/365ths of your bill. That should be 1/10th. The amount should be correct, at least!

  • el_fozel_foz Member

    Thanks for the info and the full transparency. I noticed that the Android app stuck on downloading a lot but put it down to the longstanding dns problems that I've reported before. I could actually play some songs but perhaps they were ones that had been cached. I tried a vpn but it made no difference.

    Will monitor how things go from today onwards.

    I still think you might be better in the long term with a more traditional top level domain like .com. I'm sure Google would figure it out and most people would still find you. Especially if the resulting reliability improvement meant more positive web chatter.

    Thanks again.

  • gravelldgravelld Administrator

    Thanks @el_foz 👍️

  • Re-imburse received. Service and app works perefect now.

    Than you!!

  • gravelldgravelld Administrator

    Thank YOU!

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