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ICANN Releases Strategic Plan for Public Comment

Marina del Rey (November 16, 2004)–ICANN has released for public comment a draft of the three year ICANN Strategic Plan. The public comment period will commence today and will end on 15 January 2005 at 17:00 UTC.

The proposed Strategic Plan:

ICANN regards the Strategic Plan as a tool for guiding ICANN’s use of its resources to best enable ICANN’s mission.

This Plan does not seek to make any statement or limitation on how the Internet community may seek to engage the ICANN policy forum, or prescribe any future direction for policy development.

  • The Strategic Plan is a rolling three year plan covering the fiscal years 2004/5 – 2006/7, subject to change as new issues emerge and new priorities are established. Because an initial version of this plan was prepared in 2003, some figures include the 2003/4 fiscal year, as well.
  • The Plan is an essential business tool for budget planning in ICANN’s development to assess that community-derived priorities are appropriately funded, that resources aren’t consumed by an emphasis on the wrong goals, and that where resources are committed to unanticipated demands, this be accounted for in future planning.
  • The process of developing and approving the Strategic Plan does not replace the annual budget process, but is a supplement to that process to assist long-term planning.

ICANN encourages public comment to ensure that community concerns are addressed and accounted for in the Strategic Plan. A lengthy public comment period has been established to allow ample discussion of the Strategic Plan, even through the upcoming holiday season and beyond.

Click here to post a comment on the draft Strategic Plan

Click here to view comments on the draft Strategic Plan

Following the public comment period, all relevant comments will be taken into consideration for finalisation of the 2004/5 – 2006/7 Strategic Plan. The final version of this Strategic Plan will be approved by the ICANN Board and posted online. A process for updating the Strategic Plan will also be submitted for approval to the ICANN Board.


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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."