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February 16, 1999


By CBR Staff Writer

By Nick Patience

Mike Roberts, president of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) says the non-profit body needs around $850,000 just to keep it running through the end of June, which is why Vint Cerf had to ask for donations on an Internet Society mailing list last week (02/15/99). The separate Global Internet Project (GIP) has raised about $250,000 from its pledge drive, which started in November last year and Roberts says the organization needs about $1.1m in total start-up funding to take it to June 30. Its first fiscal year will begin July 1. There may be some of the money left over, but if ICANN needs that much to get it through four and a half months to the end of June, things must be tight at the moment. Roberts, who has a lot of experience in forming and running non-profit organizations says ICANN’s financial situation right now is about standard when compared to other non-profits. Cerf says he is wearing various hats here. He is one of the prime movers behind the GIP and helped organize the original pledge drive. His employer, MCI WorldCom Inc is a member of GIP and Cerf is a supporter of ICANN. He says the $1m to $2m he asked for was based on his own estimates of ICANN’s requirements. In the original email, Cerf takes a swipe at Network Solutions Inc, the current monopoly provider of domain name registration services, saying that some organizations over which ICANN has cognizance are extremely well-funded. One domain name registrar has just gone into the capital markets to obtain a reported $700m in a secondary stock offering. That’s a reference to NSI’s recent secondary offering. However all that money went to its parent company, SAIC, which reduced its stake in NSI to about 45% from 75% through the offering.

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