Feeds

Nominet puts its future on the line

UK registry owner holds second EGM

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

UK registry owner Nominet is this morning holding its second extraordinary general meeting in a year in Oxford in an effort to expand its business and modernise its processes.

Following a disastrous attempt eight months ago to rewrite its corporate make-up, where the company faced a revolt by members of its own advisory board and had the rug pulled from under its feet by its largest stakeholders, Nominet has gone back to the drawing board and put forward only the two changes that have proven most popular with its members.

The first will allow the company to pitch for business outside its core role of running all .uk domains. In particular, Nominet wants to win the contract to run the UK's upcoming ENUM system, which should contact the telephone system directly with the internet.

And secondly, Nominet wants to be able to run ballots electronically - something it is restricted from doing at the moment and feels is a ridiculous constraint, especially when it exists on the cutting edge of internet technology.

Despite the general popularity of the changes, however, CEO Lesley Cowley told us that the EGM remained "a bit of a test". Nominet has changed its voting rules to ensure that its largest shareholders don't hold an effective veto, but even so it needs 75 per cent of votes passed to get the e-voting change, and an unwieldy 90 per cent to pitch for the ENUM contract.

The reason for the rush is that the ENUM contract will be decided before Christmas, and Cowley openly accepts that the vote is the "last chance" for Nominet to win it - and for a non-profit company to run what could become an important infrastructure and opportunity for Nominet members. "Not everybody realises the potential effect of ENUM," warns Cowley.

If that measure passes, Nominet also hopes to bid for the .eu contract when it is rebid, but Cowley dismisses any suggestion that it will end up competing with its own members. "We are a registry, we are good at running big databases, the idea that we would compete with members is a red herring."

However, she is also unhappy about the suggestion that Nominet formally states it will not compete with members: "VeriSign is a member, for example," Cowley says, referring to the company that runs the dotcom and dotnet registries. "It would be a bit strange to state we wouldn't compete with members on that basis."

As for the e-voting issue, Nominet hopes it will help solve one of the company's main problems: the extremely low level of interaction members have with it. Despite the importance of the changes, less than 15 per cent have voted so far. Ironically, the fact that Nominet is obliged under its current rules to send out a paper ballot for any changes and record only those papers physically sent back, is a major reason for a low member turnout among companies that exist entirely within the electronic world.

Cowley isn't sure members realise that until the changes go through it is not legally allowed to make the process easier. She, and Nominet, will be hoping the issue is rectified this morning. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.