It is with a heavy heart that we announce the gradual closure of Third Generation Internet Services.

After 17 years of serving our hosting community, we will be sunsetting our services with the tentative shutdown date of December 31st, 2025.

Reasons for the Decision

Our decision to cease operations was not reached lightly, and we want to be transparent about the reasons behind it. There are several considerations that have led us to make this difficult choice.

  1. Escalating costs in the energy sector and data center - With global inflation being fueled by energy price increases, data center services are experiencing a two-fold cost increase as available floor space continues to give away to AI hardware and cloud computing. Securing new contracts that maintain affordability for our customers has become a challenge while ensuring our operational sustainability.

  2. Exponential cost increases in the software licensing market - Over the past five years, we have witnessed a significantly aggressive campaign by a hedge fund to monopolize the web hosting software market. The result has been a sharp increase in the costs for the software licensing we rely upon. We elected to absorb these prices to protect our customers, but doing so continues to add substantial financial strain as these prices continue to be increased year after year. The passing of these costs directly to the customer would effectively mean raising prices substantially which we believe would further escalate reason #3.

  3. Significant decline of the MU* community and our customer base - While we experienced a brief reprisal in the MU* community during the 2019-2020 pandemic, the MU* community has been in a state of significant decline for much of the past two decades. We rely heavily upon new customers and their support to maintain our existing customer base and the ability to continue to provide services at the level we strive for. Our influx of new customers has declined to less than 10% of previous years, leading to unsustainability.

  4. End-of-Life (EOL) of our software baseline - With Red Hat's surprise announcement to no longer support CentOS and only provide CentOS Stream, the CentOS 7 operating system will reach EOL on June 30th, 2024. While binary equivalent alternatives exist to Red Hat's Enterprise Linux such as AlmaLinux and Rocky, our testing has resulted in significant challenges with creating a homogeneous software baseline capable of stably supporting customers with legacy software in contrast to customers opting for modern development and codebases. Newer operating systems and applications are increasingly adopting modern development strategies that utilize containerization and microservice architectures, which is unfortunately not well-suited to our multi-tenant environments or current software model. The stability of legacy codebases in newer operating systems continues to decline with the introduction of newer GLIBC and development libraries, even for our legacy compilers. Support for x86 (32-bit) libraries continues to be phased out and is nearly non-existent in the latest releases. We do not believe we can provide the level of service our customers have come to expect from us without overhauling our product models going forward. These new product models would introduce dependencies of outdated software which introduces additional maintenance and security vulnerabilities we're not prepared to address.

  5. Irrelevant business model - The most significant issue of all is our current business model which effectively blocks our ability to address some of these challenges and modernize. The majority of hosting companies are now adopting a "contract model" where customers are expected to renew their services at the end of a contract at the new current rate which effectively dampens customer "turnover". While we have prided ourselves over the past two decades adopting a grandfathered pricing model as an acknowledgement to the continued loyalty of our customers, we believe the sudden expiration of this pricing model would be the equivalent of terminating the company immediately. We do not believe we could sustain a significant loss of customers all at once due to modernizing our pricing structure without a sharp influx of new customers.

Sunset of Operations

To provide our customers ample time to transfer their services, we are opting to sunset our operations gradually over the next 18 months. This sunset process refers to the gradual phasing out of the company's operations over time, before ceasing all services in entirety. Customers will have 18 months to research, plan, and execute their transition to a new provider. We understand that migrating services can be complex and time-consuming, so we are committed to offering support throughout this period. As we approach the tentative date of termination, a list of resources will be provided through our support FAQ to assist customers with identifying alternative hosting providers, downloading and transferring of their data, and their migration process from our system.

Recommendations and What You Need to Know

We recommend reviewing this announcement and checking back periodically for any new information or timeline changes. You can subscribe to the RSS feed for notifications.

We will begin adjusting product subscription renewals on 2024-12-31. Customers who are currently subscribed to quarterly, semi-annual, or annual subscription plans will be readjusted to a monthly renewal while maintaining their current renewal rate, starting in 2025.

We encourage all customers to begin initiating the migration of their services and domain names no later than August 2025 to minimize any unexpected service disruptions. As a reminder, changing any administrative contact information related to your domain can result in a 60-day transfer lock by the registrar. It is recommended to verify your contact information at least 2 months prior to your expected migration date so the domain transfer process executes seamlessly.

Extended Support of Software

While our software baseline is expected to reach EOL on June 30th, 2024, we have opted to receive Extended Lifecycle Support (ELS) which will provide ongoing security updates and WHM 110 bug fixes until January 1st, 2026. This software relationship will continue to allow us to provides services until the expiration of ELS and our software licensing.

Services and Subscriptions after 2025

There are a small number of subscribers that currently have renewal dates that extend beyond our tentative shutdown date of 2025-12-31. Your service-level and support will continue to be delivered as expected as we continue to provide ongoing support through consolidated server options. 

Operational Timeline

To support the phasing out of our operations, we have provided a timeline below of the expected changes to occur around their tentative dates.

Effective immediately we will be discontinuing all new services and no longer accepting new customers. 

  • 2024-06-01 - Notification of company's operational sunset
  • 2024-06-01 - Discontinuation of new customers, new services, new domains, and new domain transfers (inbound)
  • 2024-06-01 - Adjustment of all domain renewals to 1-year
  • 2024-06-08 - Shutdown of Third Generation webpage - reroute traffic to our Customer Support Site
  • 2024-06-30 - EOL of CentOS 7 Operating System
  • 2024-07-01 - CentOS 7 and WHM 110 Extended Lifecycle Support (ELS) begins
  • 2024-12-31 - Adjustment of all account packages to a monthly renewal
  • 2025-06-01 - Customers should begin planning their migration
  • 2025-08-01 - Customers should begin transferring their accounts and domains
  • 2025-12-31 - Tentative termination of all monthly renewing accounts and packages
  • 2025-12-31 - All domain renewals will cease, domains will continue to function through 2026, but not renew
  • 2026-01-01 - Consolidation of any remaining subscribers with extended subscriptions
  • 2026-10-15 - Estimated final termination of last remaining customer
  • 2026-12-31 - Termination of all hardware contracts

Additional Information

As additional information is needed we will continue to provide updates to this announcement and in the event of important timeline changes we'll continue to notify by email.

We appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we navigate through this transition. Thank you for being a part of Third Generation Internet Services and our community. Your support has meant the world to us, and we are grateful for the opportunity to have served you.

Saturday, June 1, 2024

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