LONDON, November 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Telnic Limited ( is the UK-based Registry Operator and Sponsoring Organisation for the global communications-focused Top Level Domain (TLD) .tel. It operates as the Registry for all domain names ending in .tel, acting under the aegis of ICANN, the body tasked with governing the security, naming and numbering on the Internet globally. The UK government has direct influence on ICANN, as it is a member of ICANN's Government Advisory Council.

As a UK Limited company, Telnic abides by all relevant UK and European laws currently enacted, including any consumer protection or business law, as does its contracted sales channel in the UK. ICANN specifies that, for the TLDs under its control, the sales channel consists of only those registrars that it separately accredits. This is the case for Telnic.

Regulation by ICANN does not apply to the operators of Country Code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs, such as .uk) or their sales channels.

The UK government informally notified Telnic one week before the announcement of its intention to legislate for powers to regulate all domain registries in the UK. Telnic is dismayed at this proposal. In it, the UK government proposes giving itself the power to dismiss and replace the management board of any Registry operating in the UK.

The Bill appears to be intended to regularise relations between the UK government and the operator of the .uk ccTLD, Nominet. However, the Bill's phrasing is so general as to apply to all existing and new Registries, not just the one operating the .uk ccTLD. All other registries based in the UK are thus caught in the crossfire. These others are or will be already regulated by ICANN, as are the Registrars that act as their sales channel.

The unintended consequences of the generalisation in this Bill are severe. No commercial company could accept the risk of the UK government taking over managerial control. Current legislation does not place such a threat on other service providers; it is unimaginable that this kind of power would be applied to Vodafone or any other communications service provider, despite the large volume of regulation in that area. This bill as currently proposed would reduce the UK's innovation and competitiveness in this market at a stroke.

The fact that no dialogue regarding this legislation was offered prior to this Bill is unfortunate. The industry that operates within ICANN's global control already has a regulatory framework in place.

Recently, as a result of the decade-long evolutionary process, ICANN, the international governing body in charge of Telnic's regulatory oversight, has been given ultimate regulatory powers by the US Department of Commerce precisely because there was concern internationally about any one government having actual or perceived control over the Domain Name Space. As currently phrased, this Bill may be misunderstood as an attempt by the UK government to overrule ICANN's authority, without any attempt to canvas the views of the industry such a move would affect.

SOURCE: Telnic Limited

CONTACT: For further information and interviews, please contact: JustinHayward, Communications Director, Telnic Limited -