News, views and what I choose to dos

Interviews with the Nominet Board candidates

Category : Internet governance, Journalism · by Sep 24th, 2006

There are two Board positions going at UK registry Nominet that will be decided on Wednesday (27 September) at the company’s annual general meeting in London.

Last week, Nominet announced that there were six candidates and released a statement from each. Despite the extremely tight time period (for example postal votes have to be with Nominet tomorrow (Monday)), I thought it would be a good idea to do very brief interviews with each candidate asking what I hope are the questions that Nominet members would wish to ask and then post them on the Net to help people arrive at a decision.

So far I have done and edited four of the six, and I have just received an email from Lord Erroll so will hopefully talk to him this evening and post his tonight [Update 8.30pm: Done and now up]. I have yet to hear from Andrew Bennett which is a shame, but if he wants to get in contact and get his points across, there is still time [Another update 12pm: Andrew got in touch and his interview is now also up].

You can read each candidate’s statement here [pdf], but below are MP3s of the interviews. They are slightly different in length but average at around four minutes, and I don’t believe I have given anyone an advantage one way or another, although I may have been a little more aggressive with Fay Howard due to tiredness.

Also during Angus Hanton’s interview either myself or he was called by someone else so there is “call waiting” blip at various points (just in case you were wondering). And Fay Howard was on her mobile so the very beginning is slightly garbled.

In alphabetical order:

  • Andrew Bennett (mp3)
  • Gordon Dick (mp3)
  • Lord Erroll (mp3)
  • Peter Gradwell (mp3)
  • Angus Hanton (mp3)
  • Fay Howard (mp3)

If anyone has any problems getting or listening to these files, please leave a comment below or email me.

Update: Yes, the MP3 player has started playing at odd speeds again. It must be the recorded bitrate, or maybe the fact it’s a variable bitrate. Anyway the files themselves work fine, so click on the MP3 link to listen while I try to sort out the problem.

Second update: No, I’ve wasted 40 minutes on it, so I’ll kill the Flash player until I can get it working without mishap.


(9) comments

15 years ago ·

Lord Erroll kinda hit the nail on the head – the Nominet DRS is a complete shambles and needs fixing and fast! People are unhappy because it is uncontrolled, without regulation and becoming more and more biased towards complainants every day! Nominet have forgotten their responsibilities to their registrants and as such, propper regulation and quality control procedures need to be put in place ASAP! I hope there are changes made as a result of this election of the Nominet Board and that these will in some small way help to push these urgent maters along.

15 years ago ·

Dealing with the recent rise of parasitic business models like domaining is the biggest challenge faced by Nominet. These kinds of activities are contrary to the whole point of a domain name system and act to deprive the vast majority of legitimate registrants who simply want to acquire a domain name which reasonably represents their business name without having to pay a tout.

The fact that recent DRS cases have seemed to be biased towards the complainant is simply a reflection of the way that the domain-touts have taken over the system and many more domains are now in their hands.

I’m not particularly surprised about domain touts standing for board election but astonished that I don’t really hear anything from any of the other candidates about how they intend to curb the practice and restore stability and credibility to the .uk namespace.

Increasing UK domain names to £25 pounds for two years and using the funds to subsidise DRS cases so that only the looser pays their costs would be a start in restoring domains to individual registrant businesses. Or perhaps a sliding scale of fees per registrant to stop hoarding – £5ea for the first 5 domains, £50ea for the next 20, £200ea for 26+ domains with the same contact details. This shouldn’t present a problem for small registrants of 1-2 domains, nor large registrants with lots of IP rights for whom the costs would be proportionate but it would kill parasitic domain hoarding!

15 years ago ·

Well domaining and the DRS are clearly the big issues of disagreement at the moment so I think having people standing on those issues can only be a good thing – bring it all out into the open.

All the Board candidates have views on the DRS – if they didn’t discuss them in the interviews it was because there wasn’t time, but many have covered it in their statements.

But this is the thing – go to the AGM and/or email the candidates and make your views known. That’s exactly what Board members are there for.


15 years ago ·


An interesting argument you propose. On one hand you seem to suggest that domaining is a business model, perhaps in some small way legitimising it. On the other, when stating “Kill parasitic domain hoarding”, you appear to suggest implementing a form of neo-Nazi purification.

Many years ago, one of my businesses could not register a domain because of speculators. So yes, I can see the argument that domains registering some 10 years ago, in the purest vision, were intended for “business” usage. Whether or not one agrees or disagrees with the practice of registering domains in a speculative manner, one has to acknowledge the seemingly substantial presence of that stakeholder group.

As nominet members /stakeholders we could continue to fight over the scrapes that are left over in the established registry of names or fight to create new fields of activity, while refining existing processes. Let Lesley et al have greater freedom to decide, rather than chain them to an archaic, undemocratic system.


15 years ago ·

not Bennett

15 years ago ·

Inspired by your precise and concise recommendation Andrew, I’ve found a poll plug-in and stuck it on the site for each page covering the election.

And just to inspire you to vote, I’ve stuck the first one on for Andrew Bennett (actually, because the code is quite good it works off your IP so I can’t vote more than once and even it up – well, not without going into the code itself).

So, make your choice known…


Andrew (not Bennett)
15 years ago ·


In Gordon’s interview, he really struggled to defend his position, being draw into repairing divisions, with what seemed a lack confidence. At this stage I am unconvinced with him


Is a repentant board member, a credible board member? Fay has all the hallmarks that appear to make her a credible candidate, I just don’t trust her.

Lord Erroll

This man is an intelligent Gentleman with political knowledge, contacts and possible influence. The thing is he is already on the PAB and feels that to suggest or influence change, he needs a seat on the board. Then there is the issue of attendance. Am I glad he cleared up the issues of attendance?

Peter Gradwell

A done deal? I hope not, Peter I have the most concern with. If he gets in, Nominet’ constitution be could move back 5-6 or even 7 years.

Andrew Bennett and Angus Hanton

Angus has a point; Nominet is awash with funds and a very tempting prospect for corporates. Andrew also has a point in defending his stakeholders. One issue candidates?

Who to vote for

Lord Erroll and Gordan


Andrew (not Bennett)

[…] Actually I was surprised in talking to each of them how feasible each person was for the role. And from the people that I’ve spoken to, they were struck by the same thing. Gordon is very capable and approachable and knows Nominet; Lord Erroll knowledgeable and well-connected; Andrew Bennett has a perspective that Nominet needs to understand; Fay Howard is very experienced; Angus Hanton is also very experienced, especially as a Board member; and Peter Gradwell knows the business side of things. […]

15 years ago ·

Thanks :) silly me.

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