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Remote Hub Relaunches for ICANN58 with Updated Guidelines

19 January 2017
By Janice Douma Lange

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In 2015–2016, ICANN's Development and Public Responsibility Department began oversight of remote hub operations for ICANN's Public Meetings. The past two meetings, ICANN56 and ICANN57, did not offer the remote hub option due to the unique nature of our first Policy Forum in Helsinki, Finland, and the unfortunate loss of equipment in the fire aboard the freighter en route to Hyderabad, India.

We will reintroduce remote hubs for ICANN58 in Copenhagen, Denmark, with updated terms and guidelines for our prospective hub hosts. The revised terms and conditions and online application will go live on Thursday, 19 January 2017. The application window for hosting remote hubs will close on Thursday, 16 February 2017.

These new terms reflect lessons learned and respect for ICANN's post-transition mission. The ICANN organization realizes that for the remote hub experience to successfully simulate an ICANN meeting room in look and feel – with topical discussions that stimulate asking questions through the hub technology – the host might incur larger costs. These costs could be related to social media or outreach to potential new stakeholders, or to gaining access to a larger facility with stable network connectivity. If remote hub hosts meet all other criteria, we will take such verifiable costs into consideration for reimbursement.

Participation via remote hub also has technical costs for ICANN, so for us to facilitate, it must make fiscal sense. ICANN already provides video feeds for every session at an ICANN meeting, an upgrade that has happened over the past six months. To justify the expense of the remote hub technology, we need a minimum number of 25 participants.

As an organization, we acknowledge our responsibility to support the outreach efforts of our community, to create awareness and build capacity in the ICANN multistakeholder model, and to provide equal access for all when it comes to having their voices heard. The ICANN organization is committed to maintaining access for anyone who is interested. Going forward, we will continue to examine the need and correct use of this remote participation option so we can understand its value going forward.

ICANN will review proposals and contact potential hosts shortly after the application window closes. We will guide successful applicants in the terms and process before ICANN58.

If you have questions, please email rp_hubs@icann.org.


Janice Douma Lange