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Remote Participation at ICANN Meetings

14 December 2018
By Ashwin Rangan

Each year ICANN hosts three large Public Meetings as a means of providing stakeholders with in person meeting opportunities. ICANN Meetings include workshops, public forums, and working meetings where Internet policies can be discussed and developed. The Meetings are crucial to our bottom-up multistakeholder policy development model.

Onsite and remote participation in ICANN Meetings is facilitated by the ICANN org Meetings, Language Services, and Meetings Technical Services (MTS) Teams coordinating extensive network and audiovisual logistics. As the SVP of Engineering, I’d like to give you a snapshot of how our technical team worked at the recent ICANN63 in Barcelona, Spain.

MTS plays a pivotal role in the success of ICANN Meetings by building the connection architecture at the meeting. MTS ships 11 tons of equipment to each meeting. This includes network, audiovisual, and remote participation equipment. The MTS Team, which expands from three people to a team of twenty during ICANN Meetings, deploys to the ICANN Meetings Network in all contracted spaces.

Additionally, each meeting room is set up by MTS with Remote Participation equipment. These components interface with the audiovisual and interpretation equipment provided by the Meetings Team and Language Services so that audio and video can be streamed live, often in multiple languages, via Adobe Connect, Live Stream, various phone bridges, and mp3 audio.

Just to give you an idea of our scope through numbers: During ICANN63 Barcelona, MTS deployed 58 switches, 77 wireless access points, 29 Mac Minis, 33 laptops, 24 iPads, 28 VoIP phones, 10 video kits, 300 international power strips, and thousands of meters of cabling to facilitate on-site and remote participation of 338 individual sessions. ICANN publishes a post meeting report which includes technical statistics and benchmarks. ICANN63 By the Numbers report can be found here: https://www.icann.org/news/announcement-2018-11-28-en.

Remote participation is very important to us. We want as many people to take part as possible, even if they cannot make the journey in person. We are proud to say that we provided 3,700 various remote participation links at ICANN63 via Adobe Connect, livestream video, live scribing stream text, as well as live streaming audio of English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Arabic and Portuguese. Additionally, we posted over 880 hours of mp3 recordings, 450 hours of Adobe Connect recordings, 175 hours of livestream video recordings, and 600 documents including session presentations and transcripts. All of this was completed with a less than 1% error rate across all touch points.

Due to the size, scope, and nature of the meetings themselves, Meetings Technical Services faces challenges to get everything perfect. We know at times technology fails and human error can lead to mistakes. We always strive for continuous improvement for onsite and remote participants and value your feedback to reach our goals. 

To see the Meetings Team, Language Services Team, and MTS in action visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3h-qRxFLZF4.


Ashwin Rangan

Ashwin Rangan