O'Brien and Brown agree: report got it wrong

The two men at the centre of the row over Domainz and its registry system have both slammed the report into the fiasco but for quite different reasons.

The two men at the centre of the row over Domainz and its registry system have both slammed the report into the fiasco but for quite different reasons.

The Hunter Group report, made public last week, includes a damning list of errors in the implementation of a Domainz registry system in 2000/01 (see Domainz report slams $850,000 DRS debacle).

Former Domainz chief executive Patrick O'Brien says the report is factually incorrect and influenced by political decisions made within the owner of Domainz, InternetNZ.

Alan Brown, former owner of Manawatu Internet Services and the man sued for defamation by O'Brien over comments he made about O'Brien and the registry system, says he is vindicated by the report, but feels it isn't the "full and frank" report he was expecting.

O'Brien says the report doesn't take into account the differences between Domainz today and the way it was in 1999 and that most of the problems can be blamed on underresourcing. "In my opinion a number of these issues can be traced to one root cause: insufficient resources." O'Brien does say that the staff levels at Domainz more than doubled during the project's life, but that these increases "were insufficient to deal with all the day-to-day operations as well as the issues that arose with the implementation".

O'Brien believes that most of the industry players were not particularly interested in the domain name registry system, as it was something they "perceived to be running okay". This, he says, is not accurate -- the University of Waikato system was on the verge of collapse, with most of the staff that had developed the system having moved on.

"Overall system performance had degraded with growth, hardware redundancy was at an all-time low and the university had signalled -- most emphatically -- that they wanted to exit."

He says the report leaves out vital information and spends too long focusing on the "issues that arose" rather than "assessing the benefits of change".

Brown see things differently.

"I am extremely angry that the promised 'full and frank' report has been censored and has been withheld by Domainz lawyers for five months." Brown says the report in its final form fails to address the issue of the role played by InternetNZ, then called the Internet Society (ISOCNZ). He says pointing the finger at O'Brien and Advantage Group for the poor implementation, while warranted, does not go far enough.

"They are convenient scapegoats, heavily deserving of the criticism they received, but they are far from the only ones involved in this. None of the actions and activities being criticised could have occurred without the collusion and approval of those ISOCNZ councillors who were also on the Domainz board of directors at the time."

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