As the world’s largest wholesale registrar and a global supplier of domain names, Tucows regularly engages in policy work within our industry. The Open Internet is an agent for positive change, and we believe in the importance of stable Internet infrastructure and the value it brings to the domain name system — across both generic and country code TLDs (Top-Level Domains).
We have been actively engaged in dialogue and have closely followed developments around the resolution proposed by the Public Benefit Initiative to re-focus Nominet, the .UK TLD registry, on its core mandate. While Tucows respects the autonomy of local communities and registries responsible for country code TLDs, and although we have not previously been an active Nominet member, we felt it necessary to take a position on this resolution — and to do so based on our core values and beliefs.
Most registries, but particularly country code registries are, or should be, very profitable operations. A country code TLD is also a public asset and an important component of a nation’s critical infrastructure. The registry should have a narrow and focused mandate, deliver a stable and secure service, operate in a risk-averse manner, and manage costs appropriately. As a public asset, surplus funds from the operation of a registry should be delivered to thoughtful and relevant public benefit initiatives, while also containing and reducing costs for the millions of businesses and consumers that use and rely on the domain names.
We view this resolution as intending to bring clarity to Nominet’s mandate, including to:
- Refocus Nominet’s role as a domain registry operator,
- Maximize the organization’s public benefit impact,
- Manage costs and director/executive compensation responsibly, and
- Provide members with ongoing opportunities to effect change.
Tucows has voted in support of the Nominet Public Benefit Initiative at the upcoming Extraordinary General Meeting on March 22, 2021. We look forward to supporting Nominet’s path forward and the member and domain name community within the United Kingdom. We also hope that country code operators around the world continue to recognize the importance of providing benefit to their local communities.
Ashley La Bolle
Director of Domains, Tucows