[AfrICANN-discuss] ICANN: 10 Years Old on 30 September

Anne-Rachel Inné annerachel at gmail.com
Wed Oct 1 10:23:06 SAST 2008

ICANN: 10 Years Old Today

A decade of multi-stakeholder decision-making and coordination

30 September 2008

ICANN is ten years old today.

On 30 September 1998, ICANN's articles of incorporation were officially
filed, recognizing "a nonprofit public benefit corporation...not organized
for the private gain of any person."

One month later, the first organizational meeting of the Board of Directors
was held in New York at the Holiday Inn JFK and named Michael Roberts as the
Interim President and CEO, and Esther Dyson as Chairman.

Since then there have been two more chairman, two new CEOs, dozens of Board
members, Committee members and Advisory Group members, 153 official meetings
of the Board, 32 international public meetings, and, of course, thousands of
individuals that have all contributed to making ICANN a leading, global,
multi-stakeholder organization that runs the domain name system through a
process of coordination not control.

Current chairman Peter Dengate Thrush reflected today: "Ten years ago, there
were 100 million people that used the Internet. Its inventors originally
thought the network would only ever have to cater for one million users. But
in the creation of ICANN, the Internet community and the US Government
recognized they needed to privatize the domain name system to increase
competition and international participation.

"Thanks to that decision, and with nearly one-and-a-half billion people
online, the network goes from strength to strength. And we hope, with the
plans we have laid on the table, that the next ten years of extraordinary
growth also occurs seamlessly for ordinary Internet user."

So, what has ICANN done in the past decade?

   - Back in 1998, there was a single registrar, charging $50 a year for
   domain names; now there are over 900 ICANN-accredited registrars
a domain costs from just $6
   - Helped the domain name system grow from roughly three million domains a
   decade ago to over 160 million today
   - Expanded the Internet's generic top-level domains from three (dotcom,
   dotnet and dotorg) to 16, including .info, .biz, .cat, .asia, .mobi and
   .name 4<http://www.icann.org/en/announcements/announcement-30sep08-en.htm#4foot>
   - Seen over 35,000 domains go through the Uniform Dispute Resolution
   Process 5<http://www.icann.org/en/announcements/announcement-30sep08-en.htm#5foot>,
   a faster, cheaper and more efficient alternative to the law courts for
   ownership disputes
   - Developed policies with the full involvement of governments, business,
   the technical community and individual Net users that make the Internet's
   addressing system able to adapt to the radical new uses that the network is
   put to every year

President and CEO of ICANN, Paul Twomey, said: "ICANN now represents a truly
international organization. We have offices in Los Angeles, Brussels and
Washington, as well as presences in a number of other countries. Board and
Committee members come from every corner of the planet and the ICANN
community is as diverse as the Internet itself. I look forward to seeing
ICANN's success continue for the next 10 years and beyond."

*About ICANN: *

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 is responsible for the global coordination of the
Internet's system of unique identifiers like domain names (like .org,
.museum and country codes like .uk) and the addresses used in a variety of
Internet protocols that help computers reach each other over the Internet.

ICANN was formed in 1998. It is a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation
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.

* Media Contacts: *

Jason Keenan
Media Advisor, ICANN
P: +1 310 382 4004
E: jason.keenan at icann.org
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