Big Wet Fish Hosting supports the Nominet Public Benefit Campaign


BWF Hosting
Big Wet Fish Hosting supports the Nominet...

Grab a Coffee and have a read at this post alongside the URLs listed from both sides of the argument and we value any comments from you.  We’ve decided to Vote YES at the Nominet UK Extraordinary General Meeting and we want to tell you why.  It’s likely most of our clients will not have much interest in this (as all you need is a working domain and website!) but we felt we wanted to let you know there is a vote coming up in Nominet UK in the next few weeks and that we are voting YES to help restore Nominet’s purpose.

Working to restore Nominet Public Benefit

For those who do not know, Nominet are the .UK Domain Names body and they manage all UK domain names.  We are Nominet Members and can vote to shape the future of this organisation.  As a company and Nominet member we do not usually get involved in ‘politics’ in the governance of Nominet UK but we are becoming involved in this campaign after carefully reviewing the facts.

Please read the following URLs to read up on this issue from both sides:

Public Benefit UK: https://publicbenefit.uk
Public Benefit UK Twitter: https://twitter.com/publicbenefituk
Nominet EGM Page: https://nominet.uk/egm
Nominet Twitter: https://twitter.com/nominet
The Register News Article: https://www.theregister.com/2021/02/11/nominet_board_offer/

Letter to Chair from Public Benefit: 
https://publicbenefit.uk/resources/Letter-to-Mark-Wood-February-26.pdf

Message from the Board to Nominet Members:
https://www.nominet.uk/message-from-the-nominet-board/

We called Simon from Public Benefit UK on Friday and informed him we would be nominating him as our Proxy at the EGM (Extraordinary General Meeting) and as a company and Nominet Member we have chosen to vote YES.

Why have we decided to vote yes?

If you had called me two weeks ago I would have told you that as a company we generally do not get involved in politics surrounding the governance of UK domain names but having done a lot of research we changed our minds and feel this campaign is strong and worth our voting YES.  Some of the many reasons are listed below:

  • We felt the letter from Nominet after the campaign was started was too little too late.  Members forums that have been stopped in recent times and a drastic reduction in donations for the Public Benefit element of Nominet are two examples.  We are left wondering had this Public Benefit Campaign not happened would the concessions from the Board have happened?  We suspect not…
  • Nominet in the official voting website state VOTE NO with no reference to the other side of the argument.  They make no reference to the significant number of members who feel differently or that you can appoint another proxy other than the chair to vote on your behalf. We have appointed Simon Blackler the CEO of Krystal Hosting as our proxy to vote Yes on our behalf at the EGM.
  • We’re all for fair elections and will accept the result but you do not walk into a Polling Station at the General Election to be told Vote Conservatives, Labour or Lib Dems inside the polling station! Campaigning takes place outside the polling station.  The same principle should be true here.  If you think about it logging into the official Civica Election Services Voting Portal to be presented with VOTE NO video on the front page when there is not even one single link to the Public Benefit Campaign website is just wrong on all levels.
  • Nominet have sent letters, emails and made phone calls in an effort to tell us why they feel we should vote no.  They are entitled to do that but there no reference to the fact there are a growing number of members who feel differently.  Their communication is very biased and suggest the company faces a threat to its independence if we vote yes.
  • Nominet sent the Public Benefit campaign Member addresses in paper format (how petty is that?) and we welcomed receiving a letter telling the other side of the story.  From what we believe they did not send phone numbers or email addresses. Yet they are using the same member database to phone and email members with their side of the story suggesting we vote no.  That’s not fair in our view.  If they only provided postal addresses to the Public Benefit Campaign they should only have used Royal Mail to communicate with members.  We have received 2 phone calls to date from Nominet HQ in Oxford.
  • Nominet are spending money on Google Adverts.  What a waste of money telling members to vote no.  If you Google ‘Nominet EGM’ that advert appears at the top of the page.  From a member lead company who are supposed to invest their profits for Public Benefit this is an absolute waste of cash.
  • Despite rules that clearly must allow this to happen, we do not feel that it is right that the Chair of the Board who is subject to the resolution to remove him from office should chair this EGM and to ask people to allow him to vote on their behalf.  That’s not right surely?  We’re not suggesting in any way the Chair would do anything underhand but common sense would suggest if you are the subject of the vote to remove you then you do not chair that same meeting and ask members to allow you to be their proxy.
  • Nominet claim if the board members are removed the company will not be stable. They fail to mention that their ISO 22301:2019 certification requires them to have robust continuity plans in place.  Public Benefit Campaign have nominated 2 people with immense experience who they want put on the board immediately following the vote until an AGM can be called to make a permanent decision.

I would invite you to browse all websites at the top of this blog post to get both sites of the story and we hope that our small number of votes combined with the hundreds of other members who have chosen to Vote Yes will help “Restore Nominet’s Purpose” as you can read here:  https://publicbenefit.uk/

The Public Benefit Campaign is being run by stalwarts from the hosting industry who have been in business longer than us. We feel it is just simply untrue for Nominet to suggest that if less than half their board are removed the organisation will effectively fall apart.

The Two Step Credible Plan from Public Benefit UK:

Having successfully called an EGM on 02/02/2021 with 11.9% of the voting rights (we needed 5%) we have a clear and strong path to recovery and continued self-governance.

Remove 5 of the 11 board members (this is LESS THAN HALF the board)
The remaining 6 board members convene meeting and appoint Sir Michael Lyons and Axel Pawlik as Chair and Deputy Chair respectively.

This new team will have a strong member-backed mandate to implement the Goals listed on the Public Benefit UK website (see above) , therefore ensuring Nominet flourishes, independent, for another 25 years.

25 years of Independence
The .UK namespace is critical infrastructure; vital to the national interest, commerce and the wider Internet community. Nominet is an incredible organisation that can proudly boast superb technical capabilities, a deep and passionate community and an altruistic spirit.

For the last 25 years Nominet has managed itself and we members must demonstrate to industry and government that we have the means to continue to do so. If we do not, Nominet could be the target of Government intervention.

 

Thanks for reading this.  This is a really worthwhile cause where we want to help Restore the Public Benefit of Nominet and bring it back to how the founders envisaged it would be.

Regards

Stephen Kinkaid
Owner and Managing Director

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