Educated at Wigan and Prescot Grammar Schools, he received his first degree in Computer Science from Essex University. Whilst at Essex, he was one of the group of students who conceived and developed the world's first multi-user computer game (MUD). In 2008 he was awarded a First in Law from the OU and the College of Law (now known as the University of Law).
His first job was with Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) as a software engineer, where (among other projects) he subsequently worked on the pioneering ALL-IN-1 email and office automation system.
In 1999, Roberts was one of the original members of the ICANN DNSO Names Council, representing the ccTLD constituency. and has been an active participant at ICANN since its foundation. He was one of the participants in the US Government's International Forum on the White Paper (IFWP) in 1997–1998, which led to ICANN's creation.
Roberts later served as one of three elected councillors representing Europe on ICANN's ccNSO Council, one of the two successor bodies to the Names Council between 2013 and the end of June 2018.
In September 2017 he was proposed to the ICANN Board of Directors by .PR (Puerto Rico), .CI (Côte d'Ivoire) and .BE (Belgium). In the subsequent world-wide poll, he was elected receiving 67% of the vote. He joined the ICANN Board at the end of October 2018, serving alongside Chris Disspain as one of the two Board Members from the ccNSO.
In 1997 he ran as a Liberal Democrat for the UK Parliament in the Ipswich Constituency in that year's General Election  and later served as an elected member of the Alderney legislature (the States of Alderney) during 2002-2003.
Roberts was a Board Director & Council Member of the Radio Society of Great Britain between 1991 and 1996. He holds the amateur radio callsign GU4IJF. He is an occasional radio presenter on the Channel Island local FM station QUAY-FM.
He has been a Chartered Fellow of the British Computer Society since 2005 and is a Member of the Institute of Directors. He was awarded Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts in February 2016. He is a Chartered Engineer and a European Engineer. He was granted armorial bearings by Letters Patent of the College of Arms on 1 March 2006.
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