- Diversification into ENUM narrowly passes membership vote.
I became a Nominet NED on Thursday 18th 2021. As stated in my election statement, here are the days I've worked on Nominet, which I take as holiday from Krystal.
Days Worked - 2
Interests: Director & Shareholder in Krystal Hosting Ltd, Registrar.
Scroll sideways to view more
1. Increase Public Benefit Donations
2. Reduce.uk prices
(Achieved via reducing Director remuneration and expensive future diversifications)
3. Improve communications with members and listen to their feedback on key topics.
4. Adopt the “UK Corporate Governance Code”.
5. Ensure Nominet remains independent and has a strong financial future.
"Bad corporate governance can cast doubt on a company's reliability, integrity, or obligation to shareholders - all of which can have implications on the firm's financial health.”
of Voting Rights
of UK TOP 50 members
|#1||GoDaddy.com (123-reg, Heart, TSOHost, Daily, Domain Monster)||3,571,178||208,154|
|#2||1&1 Ionos (Ionos, Fasthosts)||1,648,555||208,154|
|#5||Register.com (Web.com, Arvixe, HostGator, Bluehost, iPage, A Small Orange, JustHost, Site 5, NetworkSolutions)||345,737||208,154|
|#7||CSC Corporate Domains||147,118||148,483|
|#8||Iomart Hosting (Easyspace, Bytemark, Memset)||140,977||142,342|
|#9||Key-Systems (CentralNic, InternetBS)||136,224||137,589|
|Founder Mr Keith Mitchell|
|Founder Mr Nigel Titley|
|Founder Mr Richard Almeida|
|Founder Mr Ivan Pope|
|Mr Steve Dyer|
|#4||TUCOWS (OpenSRS, Enom)||401,638||208,154|
|Hosting Concepts B.V.||31,961||33,326|
|3DWeb Online Services||29,378||30,743|
|Hostek Limited t/a Hostek||20,397||21,762|
|Nokta Internet Teknolojileri Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S.||19,263||20,628|
|Unlimited Web Hosting UK||15,297||16,662|
|Easy Internet Solutions||14,967||16,332|
|ICUK Computing Services||13,330||14,695|
|COLCATWEB Limited t/a UK-Cheapest.co.uk||11,498||12,863|
|Behrendt Professional Corporation||6,857||8,222|
|Titan Hancocks Lomax||6,406||7,771|
|UKDedicated LTD t/a UKDedicated||5,897||7,262|
|Tool Domains Ltd t/a ToolDomains||5,714||7,079|
|Total Web Solutions||5,640||7,005|
|BB Online UK Ltd t/a BB Online||4,742||6,107|
|STENNING LIMITED t/a Stenning.net||4,516||5,881|
|Andrews & Arnold||3,418||4,783|
|Really Useful Domains||3,344||4,709|
|Create Internet Ltd t/a Create||3,181||4,546|
|The Hosting Heroes||3,132||4,497|
|Mr Paul Hughes t/a UKHost4u.com||3,094||4,459|
|Pipe Ten Hosting||2,999||4,364|
|Dennis Nind t/a Brixly Web Solutions||2,979||4,344|
|Zebra Electronics Limited t/a Domaincheck||2,871||4,236|
|Mr George Marshall||2,459||3,824|
|Nutty About Hosting||2,332||3,697|
|Andrew Bell t/a DomainsForSale.co.uk||2,289||3,654|
|On-Line Marketing and Sales Ltd t/a Swift Internet||2,120||3,485|
|Web Wiz Ltd. t/a Web Wiz||2,053||3,418|
|BWF Hosting Ltd t/a Big Wet Fish Hosting||1,962||3,327|
|YNH Limited t/a Your Name Here||1,957||3,322|
|Mr Robert Morrison||1,566||2,931|
|UK Internet Services||1,416||2,781|
|Andrew Shorten t/a Trendmedia||1,410||2,775|
|Mr L R Wilson||1,363||2,728|
|Third Party Formations Ltd t/a The Company Warehouse||1,145||2,510|
|Anthony Appleby t/a designconsultancy||1,106||2,471|
|Seem Internet Solutions||1,070||2,435|
|The Positive Internet Company||1,015||2,380|
|Monkey Tree Hosting||971||2,336|
|Steven Parry Kevin Parry and John Bowden t/a Tx Group||820||2,185|
|Infinity Developments Ltd t/a IDNet||779||2,144|
|1 Click Services Limited t/a 1 Click Cloud||748||2,113|
|Xperience Web Hosting||720||2,085|
|Mrs Ellen Badat||679||2,044|
|Grade1 Internet Solutions||600||1,965|
|Mr Peter Colman||597||1,962|
|Oldroyd Publishing Group||596||1,961|
|Steven Morgan t/a Look2 Services||596||1,961|
|Mr L Ippolito t/a NAME2NET||570||1,935|
|—||Mr Jude O'Kelly||540||1,905|
|Solid Designs Internet Solutions Ltd t/a Solid Designs||527||1,892|
|—||Online SAS t/a BookMyName||526||1,891|
|ADMT Limited t/a Koder||506||1,871|
|Hughes Media Internet||503||1,868|
|Mr Robert Matthews, Mrs Tracy Matthews t/a Future Internet Services||478||1,843|
|Snappy Host Ltd t/a Snappy Host||476||1,841|
|Laughing Banana Enterprises||475||1,840|
|Semtec Limited trading as SAQ||471||1,836|
|Mark Ayres t/a Splashweb||466||1,831|
|EX Networks Limited t/a Express Hosting UK||465||1,830|
|Host Lincoln Limited t/a Jolt.co.uk||463||1,828|
|Unattend Limited t/a I-tec WeHostYou AttendIT StroudyIT||458||1,823|
|FidoNet Registration Services Ltd t/a fido.net||455||1,820|
|UMKY Limited t/a UMKY Marketing||437||1,802|
|Cambridge Search Engine||434||1,799|
|Mr Pravesh Solanki t/a The Fresh Dental Marketing||430||1,795|
|ADM Computer Services Ltd t/a ADM Computing||427||1,792|
|SharpStack Hosting Ltd t/a Prostack||409||1,774|
|Force 10 Hosting||401||1,766|
|Mr Martyn Ford t/a YesNo||400||1,765|
|USIC Internet Services||397||1,762|
|Pulse 8 Internet Ltd t/a Pulse8||382||1,747|
|Mr Matthew Haines t/a Purple PC||365||1,730|
|Mr DJ Wood||363||1,728|
|VPW Systems (UK)||362||1,727|
|Dr M D Harper t/a Herald Information Systems||355||1,720|
|Axia Computer Systems Ltd t/a Axianet||307||1,672|
|Web Smart Media||303||1,668|
|USP Networks Limited t/a USP Networks||300||1,665|
|Enigma Technology Services||299||1,664|
|Converged Communication Solutions||287||1,652|
|Forfront Limited t/a Forfront||285||1,650|
|Solidblueliquid LTD t/a Solidblueliquid||274||1,639|
|Mark Cavanagh t/a ukdomains.org.uk||273||1,638|
|Intersys Ltd t/a Intersys||272||1,637|
|Uni-Mark Internetworking Services LLP t/a umis.net||272||1,637|
|MS Storage Equipment||266||1,631|
|Matthew Davis t/a CatchDrop.uk||264||1,629|
|HighSpeed Office Limited t/a hSo||258||1,623|
|Mr Keith Hanshaw||258||1,623|
|Freetimers Communications Limited t/a Freetimers Communications||256||1,621|
|Spellings Business Services Ltd t/a XenCentric||253||1,618|
|Green Duck Ltd t/a Green Duck||252||1,617|
|Squarehost Ltd t/a SQUAREHOST||252||1,617|
|KDA Web Services||251||1,616|
|CSY Retail Systems||246||1,611|
|Yellowstone Electronic Solutions||244||1,609|
|Continental Ltd t/a Webnetism.com||240||1,605|
|Navertech Ltd t/a Navertech||234||1,599|
|Mr C Davies||225||1,590|
|Impreza Computer Services||224||1,589|
|ANU Internet Services||220||1,585|
|Net Energy Internet||219||1,584|
|Sean Warburton & Gillian Warburton||217||1,582|
|Aquiss Limited t/a Aquiss||216||1,581|
|Webarch Co-operative Limited t/a Webarchitects||213||1,578|
|Mr Gary Waudby t/a Idweb||209||1,574|
|Dr Peter Houston t/a Openstrike||201||1,566|
|Red Dragon I.T.||191||1,556|
|All Simple Internet Services LLP||190||1,555|
|Eonic Associates LLP||188||1,553|
|Internet Solutions Services Ltd t/a ISSL||181||1,546|
|HelpQuick Limited t/a HelpQuick||166||1,531|
|Design Technology Ltd t/a Transcom ISP||157||1,522|
|H Smith & Sons (Honingham)||147||1,512|
|Shahbaz Akbar t/a SoftProg||145||1,510|
|The Net Effect (World Wide) Ltd t/a The Net Effect (World Wide)||144||1,509|
|Mr Jason Wright||142||1,507|
|Stratagem Solutions Ltd t/a Stratagem Hosting||128||1,493|
|Andrew Sweeting & Alison Sweeting t/a BlueShift Internet||127||1,492|
|Mr James Conaghan t/a Name Dropper (Name Dropper)||127||1,492|
|Mr K M Marsden t/a UK Trading||127||1,492|
|Mr Chris Meakes t/a Fidget Media||126||1,491|
|Shireglobe Computers Limited t/a SCL Internet||126||1,491|
|Mr David A Munro||120||1,485|
|Hiltonian Media Ltd t/a Hiltonian Media||119||1,484|
|Pageworks Limited t/a Pageworks||119||1,484|
|Domainmaster Limited t/a Hotlinks Internet Services||118||1,483|
|Bongo IT Ltd t/a BongoIT||113||1,478|
|Netcalibre Ltd t/a LCHost||109||1,474|
|Domain Registrar Services||107||1,472|
|Mr David Raza t/a Rochweb||106||1,471|
|Stitchbob Limited t/a Stitchbob||103||1,468|
|Subset Solutions UK Limited t/a Subset UK Group||95||1,460|
|B S Net||94||1,459|
|Igeek Ltd t/a igeek||94||1,459|
|BRIGHTWORK OPS LIMITED t/a Brightwork||93||1,458|
|Kevin Middleton t/a Middleton||90||1,455|
|Mr Terry Froy t/a Spilsby Internet Solutions||90||1,455|
|Psand Limited t/a Psand.net||89||1,454|
|Sytec - Systems & Technology Ltd t/a Sytec||86||1,451|
|Web4Africa Ltd. t/a Web4Africa||86||1,451|
|ITOPS UK Limited t/a ITOPS||85||1,450|
|Mr B Higgins & Mrs E Higgins t/a Allness IT||78||1,443|
|Mr David Link||77||1,442|
|Chris Burton t/a 8086 Consultancy||71||1,436|
|Mr David Seymour-King||71||1,436|
|Sensical Services Ltd t/a Sensical.net||69||1,434|
|Scott McKeown t/a redIT||68||1,433|
|Completely Different Solutions Ltd t/a CDS||67||1,432|
|Mr John Batten t/a Internet Insurance Services||67||1,432|
|Canterbury Web Services||66||1,431|
|E Business Services Ltd t/a E Business Services||65||1,430|
|STEM Learning Limited t/a National Science Learning Centre||64||1,429|
|Hybrid Host UK||63||1,428|
|APII.IO Limited t/a APII.IO||62||1,427|
|Mr Dale Hubbard t/a Hubbard Media||58||1,423|
|Mr Brian Tran t/a Perfectday Internet||57||1,422|
|CED Services Limited t/a Network Birmingham||55||1,420|
|—||INCUBATEC GmbH - Srl||54||1,419|
|Mr Tim Rustige t/a TR Computers||52||1,417|
|PRO OnLine Services||52||1,417|
|Communicate & Control Ltd t/a GreatADSL||51||1,416|
|Mr Paul Cienciala||50||1,415|
|Arachsys Internet Services||48||1,413|
|IQ in IT||48||1,413|
|Paul Monckton t/a Pryanet||48||1,413|
|Mr Ian MacDonald t/a MacWare||45||1,410|
|Coaley Peak Ltd t/a Coaley Peak||42||1,407|
|—||ISP Service eG||42||1,407|
|Mr Mike Albon||39||1,404|
|Fluency Communications Ltd t/a Fluency||36||1,401|
|Mr Darren Edmundson||36||1,401|
|Graham Bell Design (Sussex)||32||1,397|
|Jamie Marshall Ltd t/a JAM internet||30||1,395|
|Mr A Knee t/a Keen Computers||30||1,395|
|Adam Matthew Archer Roberts Ltd t/a A.M.A.R Hosting||29||1,394|
|Mr G Mellon & Dr E Mellon t/a Seneca Group||28||1,393|
|Mr Ian Kirk||26||1,391|
|Dave Marshall t/a ATST Solutions||25||1,390|
|LogicForge Limited t/a logicforge||25||1,390|
|Paul Greenhalgh Services||25||1,390|
|The Fluidconnections Co (UK)||25||1,390|
|Infogration Ltd t/a Infogration||22||1,387|
|—||Marlin Computer AB||22||1,387|
|DC Web Hosting||21||1,386|
|Get On The Web||19||1,384|
|Mr Colin Tulley & Mr Ken Tulley t/a Tullnet Internet Services||19||1,384|
|Yokin Limited t/a Whatever.UK||19||1,384|
|Mr Ted Stockton t/a Manchester Business Resources||18||1,383|
|Watershed Arts Trust||18||1,383|
|Jamie Lee Marks||17||1,382|
|ForeverUnLimited t/a The.Domain.Name||15||1,380|
|The Networking People (TNP) Limited t/a TNP||13||1,378|
|Labcourt Limited t/a Hartland Multimedia||9||1,374|
|CW Business Group||8||1,373|
|Dr James Reather||7||1,372|
|Jennifer Clifford t/a UKFSN||4||1,369|
|Mr Stephen Peters||3||1,368|
|Kevin Flanagan t/a BP Investments||0||1,365|
|Mrs Madeleine Rollason t/a MRWebfix||0||1,365|
|Tecnocratica Centro de Datos, S.L. t/a Virtualname||0||1,365|
Thank you for your support!
1: Nominet has a non-trivial weighted voting system whereby each member gets a fixed amount of votes that represent 25% of all voting rights, with the remaining 75% allocated based on the number of domains under management (DUM). For a requisition, a cap of 3% applies assuming ALL members vote, hence why the top 6 members all have the same amount of votes.
2: This data is based on the last publicly available data which was 21st August 2020. We've added a large margin of error to ensure we exceed the threshold for calling the meeting. At the meeting itself only a simple majority of 50% is needed to pass each resolution. The 3% cap will also apply but only on those members that vote.
"History has shown that the membership will support the company to take risks and to make fundamental changes but will, in whole or in part, assert itself if it does not feel confident about the direction the company is taking."
- Sir Michael Lyons
From his report to the board, 27th October 2015
Because the money that should have been heading towards Public Benefit Donations over the last 5 years has instead been funneled into completely unnecessary "diversifications", expensive acquisitions and Directors pockets.
This is completely unacceptable behaviour for a company that has a public benefit purpose, so important it's enshrined in the Articles as the very first thing after the definitions.
There's never been a more obvious time in Nominet's history where it could be making a real impact and benefitting the public; COVID, Climate Change, homelessness, etc, etc.
This is not a VC-backed Silicon Valley startup that needs to take risks, make speculative acquisitions, "pivot" or worry about unnecessary diversifications. This is Nominet, the guardian of the .UK namespace and we'd like it back, please.
No. At least not legally.
We have followed Nominet’s members code of conduct and outlined the issues in a professional way with integrity and accountability.
The Nominet directors are legally bound to carry out a requisition from a group of members under section 303 of the Companies Act 2006. Our EGM requisition has been legally drafted by a solicitor and does not make any vexatious statements.
Nominet's board of directors is required to call the EGM within 21 days of receiving notice from the members to call it.
That meeting must be held on a date not more than 28 days from the date on which notice to convene the meeting has been given by them. In total that's a maximum of 49 days from when we submit the notice, which we'll do once we've got a comfortable margin of error.
They cannot refuse a legal and valid request from the members to participate in the operation of the company. If necessary a court order can be used to compel the meeting.
The current board has run the business in such a way that anyone can see things could be better. Treating the membership as an inconvenience, ratcheting up prices to fund acquisitions, unnecessary diversifications and eye-watering Director pay (which is higher than the Upper Quartile of the AIM!), deliberately opaque behaviour and the issue that got me to start this movement; the MASSIVE reduction in Public Benefit Donations compared to previous levels.
The relationship between management and members has been strained for years. In recent times it's become somewhat more aggressive. Russell Haworth has called The Register "fake news" for reporting on fact, and most recently he closed down the members forum, mid-AGM. With it went the last easy line of communication.
The membership aren't stupid. Quite the opposite. For years the board have ignored their input and carried out their own agenda, behind closed doors, citing that they can't provide the expected and previously common meeting minutes anymore because "Nominet is a PLC type board" (Mark Wood, Chair)
Another worrying trend is Nominet's attempt to conflate Public Benefit Donations with impact. For example, counting EVERY member of the Scouts towards their 2020 goal of "Improving the lives of 1 million young people through technology" (actually 721,777) doesn't detract from the fact that Nominet has donated less than £2M in 2020, down from over £5M average per year between 2011 and 2015, before Russell Haworth arrived.
Its clear ALL members and the public will benefit from a leaner Nominet board that focusses on its core business of running a secure .uk namespace.
The first order of business will be to re-open lines of communication with the membership and start to engage them on key issues.
No, nothing is being guaranteed. However, it’s fair to assume that if the company returns to its core business, ceases to pursue expensive acquisitions/diversifications and pays Directors salaries commensurate with appropriate comparable public sector organisations, there will be surplus profit and cash in the business. That will allow the board to simultaneously increase Public Benefit Donations AND reduce .uk prices. Win/win.
It might take a while before any reduction can happen as the new Directors will need to review the business and understand its financial position.
For the avoidance of doubt; I didn’t start this action so Krystal could pay less for it’s .uk domain names. I started this action to rescue a national treasure and restore public benefit donations to previous levels. As you can see from the table above Krystal has a fairly modest number of domains but if there is a price reduction I can guarantee that Krystal will pass that on to end users.
Yes. I was alarmed enough by Russell Haworth closing down the forum mid-AGM to want to see what was going on. I have spoken, or attempted to speak, to all of the member-elected NEDs with varying degrees of success.
23/09/2020 - Made contact via LinkedIn 24/09/2020 - Scheduled call for 30th. 30/09/2020 - Call postponed by Anne. 06/10/2020 - Productive Zoom call. Alerted Anne to serious members disquiet over recent Board actions (including closing forum at AGM) and asked her to communicate that to the Board. Impressed with Anne’s positioning and members-first attitude. 10/11/2020 - Sent LinkedIn message requesting update. No reply. 04/01/2021 - Sent LinkedIn message requesting update. No reply. 19/01/2021 - Sent LinkedIn message requesting update. No reply.
Last successful contact: October 2020
James Bladel08/10/2020 - Introduced through mutual contact via email. Asked for a Zoom call. 10/11/2020 - Followed up, arranged call for 13th November 2020. 13/11/2020 - I missed call because of another appointment, we rescheduled for 20th November. 20/11/2020 - Had excellent Zoom call where we had a wide-ranging conversation that included personal background, motivations for becoming non-exec, how Nominet board runs, it’s characteristics and challenges. Ran out of time but hoped to talk again shortly. Very positive chat. 22/12/2020 - Sent email proposing catchup. James suggested we catch up after the holidays. 05/01/2021 - Sent email proposing catchup. 19/01/2021 - Sent email proposing catchup Arranged for the 22nd 22/01/2021 - James explained my emails have been getting spammed and apologised. Had another excellent chat. We talked more about Nominet’s public purpose origins and the need (or lack thereof) for survival, and thus diversification, the difficulties of balancing “profit with a purpose” vs. commercial goals, and the validity of setting pay scales for Nominet against US tech companies vs. public sector companies in the UK. Once again ran out of time but satisfied that James has been a robust and valuable presence on the board.
Last successful contact: January 2021
David Thornton01/01/2021 - Introduced via mutual contact as couldn’t find LinkedIn profile 05/01/2021 - First contact. Notified by David that Nominet Company Secretary would be informed of contact. 18/01/2021 - Call scheduled for 20th January 20/01/2021 - Had a Zoom with David to try and understand position and role. David favours a commercially orientated Nominet and possible devolution from the membership structure. In role on Remuneration Committee explained that top salaries need to be paid to retain “top talent”. We disagreed on the necessity of diversification (I think it’s unnecessary) but it was an honest and frank dialogue and I am very grateful for his time.
Last successful contact: January 2021
In the lead up to NED elections, Phil was very active on LinkedIn talking to me to solicit Krystal’s votes for his candidacy. Phil stood on a platform of re-balancing Nominet weighted voting system and engaging with the membership.10/08/2020 - Phil writes. We talk. 11/08/2020 - Phil writes. We talk. 31/08/2020 - Phil writes. We talk. 06/09/2020 - Phil writes. We talk. 18/09/2020 - Phil Buckingham is elected as the latest non-exec. 22/09/2020 - I write congratulating Phil on win and ask for a chat. Message read. No reply. 29/09/2020 - I follow up. Message read. No reply. 06/10/2020 - I follow up. Message read. No reply. 13/10/2020 - I follow up. Message read. No reply. 27/10/2020 - I follow up. Message read. No reply. 03/11/2020 - I follow up. Message read. No reply. 10/11/2020 - I follow up. Message read. No reply. 17/11/2020 - I follow up. Message read. No reply. 24/11/2020 - I follow up. Message read. No reply. 01/12/2020 - I follow up. Message read. No reply. 08/12/2020 - I follow up. Message read. No reply. 15/12/2020 - I follow up. Message read. No reply. 22/12/2020 - I follow up. Message read. No reply. 29/12/2020 - I follow up. Message read. No reply. 04/01/2021 - Phil admits to mutual contact he’s been ignoring communications from members, not just mine. Having sought advice from Nominet secretary Rory Kelly he’s advised to talk to membership. We’re put in touch via email by said mutual contact, no reply. 12/01/2021 - I follow up. No reply. 19/01/2021 - I follow up. No reply.
Last successful contact: September 2020
If successful, this initiative will send a very strong message about what Nominet's purpose is (run the .uk namespace), and who it should benefit (members and the wider public). Foremost in our mind is the continued success of Nominet as a self-governed steward of an essential commons resource.
We are confident that we have a clear path to passing the resolutions and would appreciate your support.
I am available every day to discuss this action with anyone who's interested. Below is a link to my calendar scheduler. I look forward to talking with you.