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ICANN to open Istanbul Hub to cover Africa, Middle East, Europe

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internet-2Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Monday, April 29, 2013 announced it will soon open its first hub office in Istanbul, Turkey, though a firm date was not given.

Making the announcement, President and Chief Executive Officer, Fadi Chehadé, said: “ICANN is becoming increasingly international in terms of our outlook, policies and the makeup of our staff.  Now our global hub strategy will take our internationalism to an improved operational level. These hub offices will become part of the core fabric of ICANN.”

Divulging what informed the choice of location, Fadi Chehadé said: “We looked closely at a number of possible global locations. We chose Istanbul because of the quality of its infrastructure, growing ICT sector, business-friendly environment and its close cultural and geographic proximity to Europe, the Middle-East and Africa.”

Commenting on the announcement, Binali Yıldırım, Turkey’s Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs, and Communications stated: “ICANN provides efficient and considered management of the Internet’s Domain Name System, and today marks the latest step in the organisation’s journey of extending its global influence.”

“The ICANN European HUB is being established in Istanbul to act as an epicenter that will help shape Internet policy to deliver a more connected community across Europe, Middle East and Africa,” the minister stated further.

Meanwhile the Istanbul hub office will be led by David Olive, ICANN’s Vice President for Policy Development, while a number of current ICANN staff will relocate to Istanbul over the coming months and local staff also hired.

ICANN believes the announcement marks a significant moment in its evolution as it prepares to spread its operational functions across three global headquarters – Los Angeles (current location), Istanbul and Singapore.

ICANN currently is overseeing the implementation of more than 1,400 new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs), representing one of the biggest changes to the Internet since its inception. The first wave of these domains will come online in the coming months.

As a result of this massive expansion of the Domain Name System (DNS), ICANN too is expanding as it continues its mission to ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet.

By Edmund Smith-Asante

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