Historic Singapore Meeting Concludes After Significant Advances to Internet’s Naming System

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Board Names Veteran Internet Innovator as New Chair

ICANN Board of Directors in Singapore

ICANN’s achievements in Singapore have made history

ICANN today wrapped up one of its most historic meetings after approving a plan on Monday to usher in a vast change in the Internet’s Domain Name System.

“ICANN’s achievements in Singapore have made history,” said Rod Beckstrom, President and Chief Executive Officer. “After years of discussion, debate and deliberation with many different communities -- including business groups, cultural organizations and governments -- we have opened the door to an era of creative innovation unlike any other since the Internet’s inception.”

During the meeting, ICANN approved a plan to dramatically increase the number of Internet address endings, called generic top-level domains (gTLDs), from the current 22, which include such familiar domains as .com, .org and .net. Applications are expected to be accepted beginning on January 12, 2012.

The Board of Directors also elected a new leader. It named Steve Crocker, an Internet pioneer, as Chair of the Board. Dr. Crocker has been involved with ICANN since 2002, serving as chair of its Security, Stability, and Advisory Committee (SSAC) until 2010. He was the SSAC liaison to the Board from 2003 to 2008, a voting member of the Board since 2008, and vice-chair of the Board since December 2010.

“With the approval of the new gTLD process, we also facilitated the global expansion of Internet users by allowing the use of any language script, such as Cyrillic, Arabic and Chinese, as a top-level domain.”

Crocker succeeds Peter Dengate Thrush, who was Chair since 2007.

Board member Bruce Tonkin, an Australian, was named Vice Chair. He is currently the Chief Strategy Officer for Melbourne IT Limited.

Two new Board members were seated: Chris Disspain, Chief Executive Officer of Australia’s .au Internet registry, and Bill Graham, former head of the Internet Society’s strategic global engagement activities. They replace outgoing Board members Thrush and Rita Rodin Johnston.

Other achievements in Singapore include:

  •     The launch of a global communications period to raise awareness of new generic top-level domains; this will include outreach to developing countries.
  •     Acceptance of 26 out of 27 recommendations from the Accountability and Transparency Review Team that reinforce ICANN’s commitment to openness and responsiveness, and progress forward with work on the remaining issue, which requires independent external review.
  •     Approved a new .NET registry agreement with VeriSign, Inc., for another six years.

To see a video interview with Rod Beckstrom and Steve Crocker go here: http://www.icann.org/en/press/

To see a video explanation of the new gTLD program go here: http://www.icann.org/

To learn more about new generic top-TLDs, go here: http://www.icann.org/en/topics/new-gtld-program.htm and http://www.icann.org/en/topics/new-gtlds/factsheet-new-gtld-program-14apr11-en.pdf

To download a high resolution photograph of Steve Crocker go here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/icann/5865180369.

To read Steve Crocker’s biography go here: http://www.icann.org/en/biog/crocker.htm.

To review the resolutions passed by the Board during Singapore meeting go here: http://www.icann.org/en/minutes/

MEDIA CONTACTS:        
Brad White
ICANN Director of Global Media Affairs
Washington, D.C.
Tel. +1 (202) 570 7118
brad(dot)white(at)icann(dot)org

Andrew Robertson
Edelman Public Relations
London, U.K.
Tel. + 44 (7811) 341 945
andrew(dot)Robertson(at)edelman(dot)com

About ICANN: ICANN’s mission is to ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet you have to type an address into your computer - a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers across the world. Without that coordination we wouldn't have one global Internet. ICANN was formed in 1998. It is a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with participants from all over the world dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It promotes competition and develops policy on the Internet’s unique identifiers. ICANN doesn’t control content on the Internet. It cannot stop spam and it doesn’t deal with access to the Internet. But through its coordination role of the Internet’s naming system, it does have an important impact on the expansion and evolution of the Internet. For more information please visit: http://www.icann.org.

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Brad White
ICANN
+1 202.570.7118
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Andrew Robertson
Edelman Public Relations
+44 (7811) 341 945
Email >