Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Department of Transport falls off the Internet?


I may be wrong on this because it's so early and no one is available on the phone to check, but I think the Department of Transport has fallen off the Internet due to a slight legacy oversight that has amused me this morning.

Currently the domain and do not appear to exist as resolvable addresses. My initial thought was that it was crappy cable connection to blame so I did some checking against a number of other ISPs (BT, Plusnet, Tiscali and the Joint Academic Network (which manages the zone)) and got nothing.

It seems that as far as the Interweb is concerned, the server that tells you where the Department of Transport is for web, email etc are the following,, Spot the oddity there? They are in a domain called "". That's going to be legacy back to when John Prescott was in charge of Transport (environment and the regions too).

The thing is, a quick query against JaNet say that there is no domain registered called This means that no one on the Internet can find the servers which are supposed to hold the records for the DfT because they sit in a domain that doesn't exist. Could it be that someone thought "oh we don't need that legacy domain anymore, lets just let it expire" not realising that it was managing the current live DfT records?

One this is for sure, as far as the name resolution of the world is concerned, all the records for the DfT are looked after by two servers which have addresses in a domain that is no longer registered. It will be interesting to see if miraculously becomes registered again. Of course they might be in the process of moving the site to new nameservers which might also explain the outage.


UPDATE 20:15: Just checked the domain record and it appears they updated the record today and changed the nameservers over to fix the problem.


silas said...
27 Aug 2008 08:10:00  

Just a shame there's such tight regulation regarding the registration of domain names, or that would be one worth registering on the fly.

Herman D. HugeLoad IV said...
27 Aug 2008 08:12:00  

Yep, they've evaporated. "Poof" Gone. I can't resolve those domains or find 'em in whois either.

Perhaps that's a "Good Thing" (TM)!

Not sure I agree with you here:
"Of course they might be in the process of moving the site to new nameservers which might also explain the outage"

Usually when I move domains to a new nameserver, (which is rare indeed) I leave port forwarding - if it's an entire box - and/or CNAME's in place to deal with cached queries.

Now, I wonder...what *other* domains within the .gov sphere would we like to see suffer a similar fate?

Anonymous said...
27 Aug 2008 08:24:00  

Buy quickly and see what they do.

runabusinesswithstampsandtattoosontheirarms t said...
27 Aug 2008 08:55:00  

ooooooooo get you you technophobe lol

Anonymous said...
27 Aug 2008 09:02:00  

Still correct at 9:02 ...

scoundrel said...
27 Aug 2008 10:04:00  

yep still out. Maybe they have leaves on the cables?????

silas said...
27 Aug 2008 10:31:00  

It's back up now, sadly.

Alan Douglas said...
27 Aug 2008 12:37:00  

At 12.36 neither would come up when clicked.

Can we extend this fine government technology to McBroon ?

Alan Douglas

Ian Thorpe said...
27 Aug 2008 20:12:00  

I'm surprised the servers had not been sold on e-bay by the time you posted this.

trevorsden said...
27 Aug 2008 22:00:00  

" ??? "

Hmmm ... for those who think Tony Blair was a clever prime minister - they should reflect that he delegated all financial matters to one Gordon Brown, and effective veto on domestic matters including a socialist social engineering remit thanks to the Treasury control of benefits policy.
And you wonder why the economy is in a mess and we still have an ever growing list of countless millions on benefits.

The rest - it went to bird brain Prescott. And you wonder why we have a crap transport system, failing environment and impoverished regions.

Just what was left for Blair to do? Foreign policy. Ahhh ....

dreamingspire said...
29 Aug 2008 07:22:00  

DfT had been predicting a site reorganisation, and at first I wondered if this was it, so thanks to Dizzy for the detective work. One thing hoped for in the site update is an on-site search engine that works (yes, they HAVE been told about it, again and again). Perhaps Tom Watson's Transformational Govt could include kicking those depts whose web sites don't work properly...
As for Prescott, its only now that there is some thinking about implementing the 10 year old Integrated Transport Policy that JP published. And they think about it just as the money runs out... JP was right, but it was just too much like hard work for all the others.

dreamingspire said...
29 Aug 2008 17:44:00  

And, by the way, its the Department for Transport (not of). Sometimes they seem to be against - certainly against public transport, but there is a dastardly rumour that some in the dept want to nationalise public transport again (legally by EU dictat they cannot, but they could come close). is a participant in the Amazon Europe S.à.r.l. Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to