As an internet business it is only natural that we would be concerned with the development of policies that affect our sector.

Earlier today ICANN‘s agreement with the US government came to an end. It has been replaced with a new document which paves the way for the future – a bright future which is truly global in nature.

As founder and Managing Director of Blacknight, which is also an ICANN accredited registrar, I welcome the signing of the new document – the Affirmation of Commitments. I welcome ICANN and the US Department of Commerce’s commitment to a “multi-stakeholder, private sector led, bottom-up policy development model for DNS technical coordination that acts for the benefit of global Internet users”.

This new document severes the close link between ICANN and the US government, while reinforcing and affirming the organisation’s role in the development of a truly global organisation that will work in the public interest.

What many people may not realise is that the US government held, until earlier today, an overly important role in the governance and control of the internet.

The JPA (Joint Project Agreement) did provide for government oversight of ICANN, however it was oversight by one government only – the US government.

While it is only natural that the US government would wish to have a degree of oversight of such an important resource, it is also fundamentally important that such oversight reflect the global nature of the internet.

The new document also strengthen the global and multi-cultural and multi-lingual facet of the internet.

The internet is far too important a resource to have been left in the hands of a single government or cultural ideology.

The recognition of the importance of IDNs underlines this very clearly.

With the wider introduction of non-Latin (ASCII) character sets into the DNS system people of all races, cultures and creeds will be in a much better position to truly participate in what has to be a global community.

We in Ireland are on the outer edges of Europe, but the Internet has allowed businesses, such as ours, to actively compete in global markets.

With the signing of this new agreement we look forward to policy development that reflects the diverse legal and cultural frameworks that need to interact and be respected within ICANN and internet policies.

We look forward to working with a stronger and more transparently accountable ICANN.

This step furthers the innovation and growth of a global internet.

We hope that with the post-JPA agreement in place ICANN, its staff and members of the ICANN community will now be able to focus their energies and resources on the introduction of new TLDs.
It is time for ICANN to “take the bull by the horns” and provide a concrete timeline for their introduction without further delay.