ICANN closes off membership scramble

ICANN had more than 158,000 membership applications by when it closed off its registration period this week. The rush to join up was led by Asian nations.

          ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, closed as scheduled the registration period for its At-Large membership Monday, despite calls for the registration period to be extended because of problems with access to the registration web site.

          At the close of registration, the organisation had over 158,000 applicants for At-Large membership (see table below.) The At-Large members will be able to elect five members to ICANN's board in elections set for October.

          ICANN, which was formed in late 1998 to take over management of the Internet's domain name system, IP (Internet Protocol) address number allocation and protocols, began accepting membership applications for the "At Large" membership in February. Back then, it set midnight UTC/GMT on July 31 as the deadline for applications.

          In recent weeks, as the deadline approached and several nations launched large membership drives, the organisation found itself unable to cope with the volume of applications -- not on a technical but on a logistical level.

          ICANN, which is in a constant struggle to find the money it needs to continue operations, has a handful of staff working on the At-Large membership, but they cannot cope with more than 200 applications an hour and so the Web site has been limiting access, board member Vint Cerf confirmed earlier today.

          At the midnight close of the registration period, Asia and the Pacific had the largest number of applications, thanks mainly to a membership drive started in Japan (with 38,931 applicants) and mirrored in China (33,670 applicants), Taiwan (9,193 applicants) and Korea (6,439 applicants).

          Those figures make Japan and China the two nations with the largest number of applicants, way ahead of Germany, in third place with 20,475 (see table below.) The US was the only other nation where applications reached into the five figure range, with 19,501 applicants.

          A total of 229 applications were received from New Zealand - which was more than the number of highly wired countries such as Sweden (209) and Norway (205).

          Total ICANN At-Large Membership Applications (Unverified) Received at Close (Source: ICANN)

          RegionMembership Applications at Close (Unverified)
          Asia and Pacific93,782
          Latin America and Caribbean6,486
          North America21,596

          Top Ten Nations for ICANN At-Large Membership Applications (Unverified) Received at Close (Source: ICANN)

                  Membership Applications at Close (Unverified)
                  South Korea
                  Russian Federation

          Detailed data for all nations are available on the Web at http://members.icann.org/pubstats.html

          ICANN, in Marina del Rey, California, can be found online at http://www.icann.org/.

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