Two years ago, the ICANN organization introduced remote hubs at some sessions at ICANN Public Meetings on an experimental basis. The aim was to encourage participation by people who could not attend the meetings in person. A particular focus at the time was on providing access to discussions of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) stewardship transition.
The remote hubs did not bring significant numbers of new participants into ICANN. The demand for the hub experience was never high – rarely reaching 10 hubs, with a limited number of participants in each hub. In addition, technical complications on the remote end often prevented participants from contributing actively. For these reasons, the ICANN organization has decided to discontinue remote hubs and instead focus our resources and efforts on other tools.
ICANN's Technical team has invested in the most up-to-date remote participation tools. Updates to the Adobe Connect software have enhanced the meeting experience – with live video, document sharing, and interactive audio phone bridges (when requested). In every Adobe Connect room, an ICANN staff member acts as a remote participation manager. This person addresses technical concerns and ensures that remote participants have equal time and opportunity to communicate with participants in the physical room. Throughout sessions, remote participants can ask questions, get speedy responses and download documentation.
We want to thank all of you who experimented with remote hubs. We believe you will find that our remote participation tools will allow you to be an equal participant in ICANN Public Meetings.