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.CapeTown domain e-mail addresses causing headaches

Owners of new .capetown top-level domains may have some trouble using e-mail addresses from their new space on the Internet.

This is because a number of online services still check to see that the top-level domain (TLD) portion of an e-mail address (such as .com, .net, or .za) is only a certain number of characters long.

Even well-established, widely used open source Internet software checks for TLD lengths as short as 6 or 7 characters, despite an old Internet Engineering Task Force document, Request for Comments: 1034 (published in 1987) specifying that TLDs could be up to 63 characters long.

One example of a site in South Africa that only validates e-mail addresses which are much shorter than specified in RFC 1034 is the First National Bank (FNB) online banking site.

FNB checks that a TLD is no longer than 7 characters, according to the error message it spits out when you try to use a e-mail address.

FNB e-mail validation - TLD must be 7 characters or less

FNB was asked why it validates e-mail addresses in this way, but the bank did not respond by the time of publication. Read more from