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Nominet's PAB election results in

Average Joe bolstered by two new names

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Nominet has announced the election results for its Policy Advisory Board and it's two old PAB hands retained and two new names - both renowned for their defence of the small man - welcomed in.

Perhaps the biggest surprise is proud non-techie Hazel Pegg polling 61 votes and coming second only to PAB chairman Peter Gradwell with 76.

Coming third and fourth with 56 votes a piece were consumers' champion Sebastien Lahtinen and current PAB member Clive Feather.

There were seven candidates for the four posts, and although the number of people actually voting from a total possible membership of around 2,600 was low - 322 - it was up a quarter on last year (261 votes in 2002, 201 votes in 2001).

The votes for Mr Lahtinen and Ms Pegg will be a shock to many, especially since they come at the expense of serious businessman Frank Rejwan, Angus Hanton and Adam Beaumont.

It will no doubt be taken as a sign that Nominet members are fearful of the increasing control that governments and big business seem to be having over the Internet.

Ms Pegg told us she was "very surprised" by the result. Describing herself as the "end-user" - as opposed to the Internet businessmen or systems experts that have traditionally run Nominet - Hazel told us she plans to work for the members. "I'm just really passionate about the Internet and keeping Nominet a members-owned company."

As a former Greenham Common protestor and someone who promises to cut through the red tape, the PAB should certainly become more lively.

Sebastien Lahtinen is best known for his campaigning ADSLguide.org.uk site which campaigns for broadband access in the UK - rather more successfully than the government has ever managed.

He's is also known to be keen on opening Nominet up to people in the outside world, which we applaud.

Peter Gradwell is expected to continue his reorganisation work and get the PAB working more efficiently and Clive Feather is a safe pair of hands who has been at the thick of the Internet since its very beginnings.

You can see the full results for yourself here. ®

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