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Fast24 customer? Here's how to recover your domain

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Letter Fast24, the UK broadband ISP and domain registrar, went missing recently. Fast24 customer Jim Howe has crashed through the pain barrier to regain control of his domains. Here he offers us the benefit of his experience for others in the same boat.

I am but one of many customers of Fast24's domain name service offering, previously known as Domainbuster.com.

I, and presumably hundreds of others, have been left high and dry by the sudden disappearance of DB's name servers, which meant that our domains were not accessible without a ouija board, and that websites and email, representing some people's livelihoods, became unavailable.

So, for the benefit of .UK domain holders, I've documented the steps I've taken to recover my domain. This procedure does not work for .COM and .NET domains, only .UK domains. The .COM and .NET domains require you to contact a company called BulkRegister.com. (Although at the moment, it seems that BulkRegister.com is as difficult to get through to as Fast24.)

Meanwhile, here is how to recover your .UK domain.

Each UK domain has a 'Tag' which allows a particular service provider (or 'Tag Holder') to manage it. It is that tag that we need to change.

First, you must find a provider willing to take your domain. In many cases this will be your internet service provider, although plenty of other hosts are available. In my case, it was Andrews and Arnold ISP Ltd (whose tag is AAISP), who have been particularly helpful throughout, as usual. I now owe them enormous quantities of beer.

Arrange with your chosen host to provide whatever services you require for the domain concerned. Explain that the domain is currently tagged as being operated by Fast24 Ltd, and that you need to go through the tag change procedure to move the domain to your new provider.

You will need:

  • Your domain name
  • A UK Driving license with address, or a recent utility bill
  • A debit or credit card for the Nominet fee, which is £10.00+VAT (£11.75) (You can pay by cheque, but this slows the whole process down)
  • The new service providers name, and registry tag
  • Software capable of reading and printing Adobe Acrobat (PDF) documents.

Go to: https://secure.nic.uk/cgi-bin/changeagent/Transfers.cgi?new=1

and follow the prompts. Fill in the information as used to register the domain (you _did_ remember to update that information when you last moved house, didn't you?).

Print, sign, and date the form, and if you paid by debit or credit card, fax it to Nominet using the telephone number on the form. If you opted to pay by cheque, post it to Nominet with your payment. Include with the fax/post a copy of your driving license or utility bill as proof of identity.

Nominet will attempt to contact your old ISP. In the case of Fast24, this will of course not work. They will sit on your request for two working days to give your old ISP time to object to the transfer.

Assuming no objections, and that your proof of identity is adequate, after two working days, Nominet will change the tag on your domain registration. will inform you, and your new ISP about the change.

The new ISP will then change the name server details for your domain to point to their systems.

If your new hosting company is any good, you will have already been able to get your website set up, and have been able to configure any additional services such as DNS and mail handling. These services will become visible to the rest of the internet over the next 24 hours, as the DNS information propagates around the network. ®

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