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Details on March 2004 ICANN Meeting to be Held in Rome, Italy

ICANN's next round of meetings will be held 2-6 March 2004 in Rome, Italy. The meetings are free to attend and open to any interested person. ICANN encourages broad participation in its bottom-up, consensus development process.

The meetings will be hosted by Register.it and The Institute of Informatics and Telematics of the Italian National Council of Research. They will be held at the Melia Roma Aurelia Antica Hotel in Rome, Italy.

Please note that Melia Roma Aurelia Antica Hotel is offering a special ICANN conference room rate for bookings before 31 December 2003. The special rates are 170 Euros for a standard double room for a single use and 190 Euros for a standard double room (breakfast and taxes included for both rates). After 31 December 2003, rooms will still be available, but will return to the regular rates which start at 184 Euros.

Pre-registration for attendees is available by filling out the form at http://register.icann.org.

Information relating to the meeting agenda and schedule is available on the ICANN website. The meeting website created by the local host has information about accomodations, the Rome area, meeting rooms, visa/customs procedures, sponsorship opportunities, and social events. Please review the visa requirements for Italy - it may take up to 60 days to obtain a visa if one is required for your travel.

Press inquiries about the meeting should be directed to John Jeffrey.

Further details of the meeting will be announced as arrangements are finalized. If you have questions regarding the meeting, please feel free to contact us by email at <meeting@icann.org>.


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Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as""icann.org"" is not an IDN."