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ICANN Wraps Up Fourth Registry/Registrar Regional Gathering

7 February 2007

Craig Schwartz

ICANN last week hosted its fourth Registry/Registrar Regional Gathering and this one took place in Santa Monica, CA. More than 65 guests representing 30 registrars and 12 registries/sponsors attended making this the largest event to date.

The event kicked off with an open house at ICANN’s main office in Marina del Rey, CA, where President & CEO Paul Twomey addressed the group. He cited that with more than 122Million domain names representing approximately $2.4Trillion in annual e-commerce transactions, security, stability and global interoperability of the Internet remain at the heart of ICANN’s mission.

The gatherings provide an informal setting for ICANN, registries/sponsors and registrars to speak openly with one another about matters of importance to them and their constituencies. The gatherings are not intended to replace ICANN meetings, but rather to create a collegial environment for dialogue and networking.

In addition to the networking aspect of the event, a partial list of speakers included ICANN staff members Tina Dam on IDNs, Stacy Burnette on Contractual Compliance, Carole Cornell on Project Management, and Paul Levins about transparency, openness and accessibility.

Some of the subjects discussed included new registry services and contractual compliance. Regarding new registry services, there was a suggestion that the registrar constituency could be more involved by providing feedback on requests after they have been posted for public comment and that ICANN could more proactively involve registrars in the process by seeking out their counsel. On the subject of contractual compliance, a discussion ensued about the numbers and nature of complaints received by ICANN. There is no doubt that contractual compliance will continue to be a hot topic for registries, registrars and ICANN.

I also want to thank Skenzo, LogicBoxes and Afilias for their generous financial support of the event. ICANN began last year seeking corporate sponsorship to help underwrite a portion of the event’s costs and to date the interest and response have been outstanding.

That’s about it for this first event of 2007. The next regional gathering is tentatively scheduled for late July in Asia, followed by a European event in December.

Craig Schwartz