I am sharing this here for two reasons.
First, we care about it. We believe the Internet is the greatest agent for positive change the world has ever seen. It is the core value that drives just about everything we do. So, we are telling anyone who will listen.
Second, we figure you (being empowered consumer types) probably like a bit of visibility onto what our company cares about and does beyond offering you reasonable pricing for your little texting habit.
Some quick background. We (Tucows) are one of the largest domain name registrars in the world. For that reason, we are an active participant in a governing body called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) that sets policies for domain names around the world. ICANN has recently been accepting applications from organizations that want to launch new Top Level Domains (TLDs), tons of new alternatives to .com, .net and all the other .whatevers out there.
In the process, ICANN, a non-profit organization, has raised a ton of cash.
Elliot Noss, our CEO, and Sascha Meinrath, our friend and a great champion of the Open Internet, published an article in Slate today suggesting that ICANN should and can use $100MM of the funds they have raised to build and maintain free wireless Internet infrastructure for a large portion of Africa.
Please give it a read.