RELEASE: OTI Calls on Web Domain Profits to Be Used for Free, Wireless Internet in Africa

The Imminent Sale Could Rake in Up to $100 Million
Published:   November 28, 2012
Washington, DC — The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) — which controls the Internet’s best domains such as .com and .org — is set to release hundreds of new, generic domains such as .web or .cars. This auctioning off of these domains, which could take place as early as April 2013, has the potential to raise up to  $100 million.
 
Sascha Meinrath, director of the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute, and Elliot Noss, president and chief executive officer of Tucows, are calling on ICANN to put these funds toward building a free wireless Internet infrastructure in Africa, where the Internet penetration rate is roughly 15 percent, or another highly disconnected part of the world. Meinrath and Noss lay out a plan to do this through “mesh technologies” in a Slate article published Tuesday.
 
“This is an audacious idea that many might originally dismiss as impractical—but that's because their thinking is stuck inside the box” they write. “We know that it can be done—and how. Providing free wireless Internet infrastructure for the continent of Africa would be a dream come true—the kind of outcome that would help bridge the digital divide and garner huge socioeconomic benefits for decades to come.”
 
To read the full article, click here.
 
For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Clara Hogan.
 
About the New America Foundation
New America Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy institute that invests in new thinkers and new ideas to address the next generation of challenges facing the United States.
 
About the Open Technology Institute
The Open Technology Institute formulates policy and regulatory reforms to support open architectures and open-source innovations and facilitates the development and implementation of open technologies and communications networks.