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Who will pay for ICANN to watch over Net names and numbers?

December 14, 1998
Web posted at: 11:30 AM EST

by Sandra Gittlen


(IDG) -- While a nonprofit group overseeing the Internet may have the government's moral support, it's still looking for financial support. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) received final approval from the Clinton administration last month to oversee the allocation of IP names and numbers but it didn't get the budget to back up that responsibility.

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So the company has gone looking for charitable donations.

Leaders of the nonprofit were relieved when Scott Bradner suggested that IETF members "pass the hat" at meetings.

But Vint Cerf, senior vice president at MCI WorldCom and Internet Society Chairman, says companies should be kicking in the dough.

"Companies that rely on the Internet for their business models should be contributing to guarantee that the Internet remains stable," he says. Cerf, along with IBM executives Mike Nelson and John Patrick, formed a group to encourage companies to pledge money to ICANN. So far, they have raised about $200,000 from Cisco, UUNET, IBM and MCI WorldCom, as well as other vendors. Cerf says, however, that he is looking to bring in between $500,000 and a million dollars.

The Internet pioneer says he is impressed with the work that ICANN has done so far. "They seem committed to doing the right thing," he says. "I didn't detect any sign of arrogance. Instead I saw sincerity, a willingness to work and a willingness to accept input from the outside world."

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