AusRegistry responds to Bill Clinton's call for expansion of the webMelbourne, Australia - March 31st 2011
AusRegistry International, a leading Domain Name Registry Services operator, is responding to former US President Bill Clinton's call for an expansion of the Internet by leading the global charge for new Top-Level Domain (TLD) names which are set to revolutionise the Internet later this year.
Speaking at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) conference in San Francisco in March, the former President emphasized the desperate need the world faces for an expansion of the Internet to realize its full potential.
President Clinton praised ICANN's work in operating the Internet and advocated for a continuation of ICANN's role with appropriate modifications. This follows recent calls for ICANN to relinquish its control over the Internet to governments around the world.
"I'd like to see the basic framework stay as it is. I like multi-stakeholder frameworks," President Clinton said.
Referring to himself as "the president at the dawn of the Internet age", President Clinton noted that when he took office in 1992 there were only around 50 websites online, which dramatically increased to more than 36 million by the time he left office eight years later.
"We've seen an enormous amount of success," said President Clinton. "All of you played a role in that and I am grateful. We have in its new incarnation, the international community, governments and the private sector working together to get information to people all over the globe and I think it's a good model."
On the economy, President Clinton said the technology sector should play a pivotal role in driving economic recovery. He recognised the importance of online innovation for a strong and sustainable economic climate and said information technology was a key driver of the American economy during his eight years in office. He said IT jobs represented 30 percent of the United States' job growth and 35 percent of its income growth.
President Clinton also highlighted the revolutions in the Middle East, Libya, plus the natural disasters in Japan and Haiti as evidence of the social and cultural power of the Internet.
"I think that all we had to do was look at all those amazingly impressive people in the street in Cairo and realize they had been in contact for two years with their comrades in arms in Tunis . it was the continuous 24-hour-a-day reinforcing, idea-sharing, information-sharing, informal network that created a form of critical mass that led to what we all saw unfold."
President Clinton also paid tribute to ICANN and the founders of the Internet for their foresight of a platform that has delivered a strong digital economy.
"We are actually here because a lot of people who were sitting in your seats 20 years ago imagined a different world and they didn't know exactly how it would come out. They just knew that a network world would probably work better than a bureaucratic one, that a free world would probably work better than one that was predetermined... But they got the big things right. It's important to stumble in the right direction. You're laughing at me, but I know what I'm talking about."
President Clinton highlighted the challenges ICANN currently faces in future-proofing the Internet.
"So these are big challenges. That's why it's very important to get the Internet right. That's why it's very important that you not only have two billion users - and that number will continue to grow - but that they know how to use it," Mr Clinton said.
AusRegistry International's CEO Adrian Kinderis said Mr Clinton's call for an expansion of the Internet would come in the shape of ICANN's new Top-Level Domain program.
Due to begin later this year, the program will allow for new Internet extensions similar to .com, .biz and .info to be applied for and introduced, with interest currently being shown for extensions representing brands (for example .canon), generic words (.shop or .web) and geographic locations (.paris).
"New Top-Level Domain names are the most compelling opportunity for innovation the Internet has seen since its creation. The result of this revolutionary shift will fundamentally change the way in which end users navigate the Internet and consume online content. It is expected that hundreds of new TLDs will be delegated as a result of the program, drastically improving Internet navigation and providing unprecedented domain name availability for Internet consumers, business and government worldwide."
Mr Kinderis said the new TLD program will help the world realise the full potential of the Internet.
"As President Clinton pointed out, the Internet has provided global economies with a platform for innovation and increasingly it's this online innovation that has brought stability and strength to national economies. It's a fact that western economies would not have been able to ride out the global financial crisis as well as they did without strong e-commerce and a digital economy," Mr Kinderis said. "With innovation being the foundation of the new TLD program, I am eagerly awaiting what this next phase of Internet advancement will bring."
Mr Kinderis said there are currently 21 generic Top-Level Domains. Under the new TLD program this figure is expected to rise to almost 1000.