The community stood up for ICANNWiki

12.03.2018

ICANN corporation continues to explore ways to cut budgetary costs. This is due to the fact that the growth rates of the domain space have decreased and the financial results of the new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) left much to be desired. One of the potential ways to cut expenditure was to cut funding of the ICANNWiki. This is an online project that currently has about six thousand articles on the activity of organizations and specific people from the ICANN community.

The proposal was posted on ICANN's webpage for public debate and the reaction was very negative. As Domain Incite reports, out of several dozen published comments at least a quarter rejected the initiative, while no one directly supported it. For example, Roland LaPlante, chief marketing officer of Afilias, wrote: “The complete withdrawal of funding from ICANN so abruptly not only threatens the viability of the project, but rather disrespectfully junks the valuable time and resources that the community has invested over the years. Ultimately the loss of ICANNWiki would be a loss to our overall sense of community.” Many other people agreed with him in the comments.

To be fair, it should be noted that ICANNWiki project has been in existence for 10 years already and has received financial support from ICANN only in the last three. In addition, the project also has other sponsors; moreover, volunteers create most of the content for free. On the other hand, ICANN’s annual support is $100,000. It’s hardly a game-changer in a situation when the corporation needs multimillion-dollar budget cuts. Critics suggest ICANN to think about staff reductions: the cost of one ICANN staff member is roughly $175,000 per year (taking into account not only wages but also travel and other expenses).