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Nominet board election is go

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The candidates in this year's Nominet elections have published their manifestos on what they would do with a seat on the board.

The company will be hoping to avoid a repeat of 2006's voting fiasco, which meant the winners had to be reinstated after calls for a revote.

Nominet is a not-for-profit firm with a turnover of about £14m, and is responsible for administering the .uk domain name system. Its 3,000 members are voting on which of them should take up two non-executive director positions on its board.

The company is often criticised as a quango, and in the last year has accepted that its dispute resolution rules are outdated and slow. It tried to reorganise its corporate structure too, which was a disaster, and prompted a series of Extraodinary General Meetings over the organisation's future. Top brass want to expand its remit to bid for contracts other than running .uk.

The runners and riders this year are:

  • Dickie Armour, general manager of Fibranet, which runs domain registrar Freeparking. Armour thinks Nominet should explain its role better to the the public, and set up a foundation to dish out its surplus to internet projects for school leavers.
  • Peter Gradwell is boss of email and VoIP provider Gradwell.com Ltd. He wants Nominet to develop more tools for domain name registrars, and lobby for them in communications industry forums. He seconds the move for a charitable foundation.
  • Angus Hanton works for Giant Games Ltd, which runs domain registrar giraffe.co.uk. He thinks Nominet should be doing more to promote the use of .uk domains to help ISPs. Hanton was one of the two losing candidates who cried foul in last year's election.
  • Sebastien Lahtinen is a four year veteran of Nominet's policy board, and was a co-founder of the popular ISP forum ADSLguide.org.uk, now called thinkbroadband.com. He would aim to increase participation in Nominet's affairs by creating a member involvment officer.
  • Michael Toth, who runs a domain name registry, wants Nominet to use its surplus to cut prices and fund a project aimed at combating spam and phishing.
  • Jonathan Robinson is a current board member, but must stand for reelection. He reckons the organisation is running things well, but needs to make sure it stays responsive.

Voting closes on May 2. The candidates' full statements are here (PDF), and details of the convoluted election process are here. ®

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