[AFRI-Discuss] [At-Large] Geographic Regions Review

John L johnl at iecc.com
Mon Mar 12 16:15:27 EDT 2007

> The following presentation from the Sao Paulo meeting may be useful, 
> especially for those who are new to ICANN. It discusses why the current 
> review of Geographic Regions in ICANN is important and what the regions are 
> used for.

There's a couple of separate issues going on here.

One is that dependent islands are grouped with the mother country, I 
gather at the insistence of France.  This is pretty clearly wrong, but the 
slides made this look like a bigger deal than it is, since at least half 
of the ccTLDs placed into wrong regions are uninhabited.  The largest 
(debatably) misplaced island is Puerto Rico with 4 million people, and 
many of the rest are flyspecks like St Pierre with about 6,000.  My 
impression is that if the French relent, everyone else is OK with each 
island deciding where it belongs.

The more serious issue is that the regions are of wildly varying sizes, 
both in terms of population and of Internet activity.  Africa is too 
small, Asia/Pacific is much too large.  My impression is that the 
boundaries were set based on the amount of Internet activity a decade ago, 
and China in particular has grown like crazy.

Again, I don't see any organized opposition to changing the boundaries, 
although if the number of regions changes, the composition of the board 
and the ALAC changes, and there's transition issues if countries are moved 
from one country to another.

For us in North America, there is a reasonable argument to be made that 
Mexico and perhaps the Caribbean is grouped more logically with North 
America than with South.  The main practical difference this would make is 
that we'd have three major languages rather than two.

John Levine, johnl at iecc.com, Primary Perpetrator of "The Internet for Dummies",
Information Superhighwayman wanna-be, http://johnlevine.com, Mayor
"I dropped the toothpaste", said Tom, crestfallenly.

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