To the stakeholders of the United Kingdom’s country code top level domain .uk
18 November 2008.
Dear Sir, Madam,
It is with great and sincere concern that we have learned that recent developments within the Board of Directors of the .uk registry Nominet have culminated in Board Director Mr. Davies’ call for the resignation of both Nominet’s Chairman Bob Gilbert and its CEO Lesley Cowley.
As the CEOs of five top level domain registries, we have, over the years, closely collaborated with Nominet in formal structures such as the Council of European Top Level Registries (CENTR) and the Country Code Names Supporting Organization within the ICANN structure, as well as in bilateral and multilateral projects.
In the course of these activities, Nominet’s management and staff have gained our profound respect for their very high level of expertise, their professionalism and their selfless dedication to both the company and its diverse stakeholders.
From our experience of working with them personally, we believe that both Lesley Cowley and Bob Gilbert are key factors in the success of Nominet and the .uk top level domain.
Nominet is one of the largest and most successful top level domains in the world and makes significant contributions globally. Because of these contributions, Nominet is held in high esteem by the global industry leaders.
Nominet’s expertise and international leadership are evident from achievements such as the development of DNSSEC standards and its involvement in the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) and ICANN.
The domain name system is a crucial element in the unequalled, all encompassing medium that the internet has become. The .uk top level domain is an integral part of that and, because of its exemplary management, is one of the drivers behind the UK’s present powerful position in the internet industry and e7business.
Companies, institutions and individuals, their residence obviously not limited to the UK, have over the years greatly profited from Nominet achievements.
Managing a country code top level domain for the benefit of ALL stakeholders is a challenge faced by many registries. It is a challenge that Nominet deals with every day and one that often leads to some people being dissatisfied with outcomes. The solution to this is to ensure a strong constitutional structure that guards against capture by any stakeholder or stakeholder group. In that respect, we note that Nominet has announced an independent review of its current corporate governance structure.
As peers, we would be most willing to contribute our own experiences to this review.
Chris Disspain, CEO of AUDA (registry of .au), Carlton, VIC, Australia
Byron Holland, CEO of CIRA ACEI (registry of .ca), Ottawa, ON, Canada
Roelof Meijer, CEO of SIDN (registry of .nl), Arnhem, The Netherlands
Alexa Raad, CEO of PIR (registry of .org), Reston, VA, USA
Hilde Thunem, CEO of UNINETT Norid (registry of .no), Trondheim, Norway
Mathieu Weill, CEO of Afnic (registry of .fr), Saint Quentin en Yvelines, France