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Saturday, 30 March, 2002, 09:35 GMT
Wanted: New plan to run the net
Bucharest's village museum, BBC
Bucharest will see Icann decide its future
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By Mark Ward
BBC News Online technology correspondent
The net's ruling body is inviting suggestions on the best way to do its job.

In February Icann, the organisation that oversees the running of the net, put forward a plan to change the way it drew up policy and raised money.

But the plan provoked criticism from many commentators who questioned whether it would achieve its aims. Many put forward their own reform proposals.

Now Icann wants to gather the suggestions to redraft the original proposal, and is asking for anyone interested to send in their ideas.

Protest plan

The debate about the future of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) was started in February when Stuart Lynn, the organisation's president, published his roadmap for reform.

That plan bluntly described Icann as "failing" and said unless action was taken to accelerate its decision making and improve the way it was funded, it was in danger of collapse.

We cannot achieve what we are asked to do with the level of resources we have now

Stuart Lynn, Icann
The proposal unleashed a wave of protests from inside and outside Icann, starting a debate about the way forward for the troubled organisation.

Karl Auerbach, an Icann board member and critic of the organisation, called the plan "corporate suicide".

Now the Icann group charged with overseeing the reform plan, the Committee on Icann Evolution and Reform, is inviting those with alternative proposals to send them to the net body before 29 April so the plan can be redrafted.

Once all the submissions have been gathered, the committee will thrash out a new version that will be made public by 31 May, ready to be debated at the next Icann general meeting in Bucharest.

"The key point is not my proposal but the notion that there are serious problems that have to be solved if Icann is to go forward," Stuart Lynn told BBC News Online.

"We cannot achieve what we are asked to do with the level of resources we have now."

Karl Auerbach
Auerbach: Fierce critic of Icann
He said that his reform plan was intended to start a debate about what Icann was for, and he was happy for it to be modified by some of the proposals that have come in its wake.

The original plan could, and probably should, change between now and Bucharest, he said.

His only proviso for any novel plan was that there was agreement between the scope of the new role and the resources needed to do it.

"You have to have a match between the overall mission and the resources to do it," he said.

He said there could be conflict between many of the proposals being forward by groups with particular sectional interests.

"Everybody wants a lightweight Icann, but each constituency has something to include that's relevant to them," he said.

"If you take the sum total you end up with something that is much bigger."

See also:

20 Mar 02 | Sci/Tech
Net body sued by own official
15 Mar 02 | Sci/Tech
Net shake-up plan prompts protests
26 Feb 02 | Sci/Tech
Net body plans shake-up
15 Jan 02 | Sci/Tech
Net's servers under scrutiny
25 Jan 01 | Sci/Tech
Brit to head net body
10 Apr 01 | Sci/Tech
Net name chaos grows
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