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ICANN and COMTELCA to Work Together to Increase Mesoamerican Government Participation in ICANN

Collaboration is a critical aspect of the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding

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Members of ICANN and the Regional Technical Commission of Telecommunications (COMTELCA)

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay – 4 May 2016 – ICANN and the Regional Technical Commission of Telecommunications (COMTELCA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in which they agreed to explore opportunities to collaborate on topics of common interest. The official signing took place on 26 April 2016 in Managua, Nicaragua.

Akram Atallah, ICANN's Acting President and CEO, and Javier Tomás Daccarett García, COMTELCA´s Board President, signed the MoU during COMTELCA's 50th anniversary celebration. ICANN is a non-profit corporation with a mission to help ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. COMTELCA, an intergovernmental organization operating under International Public Law, coordinates and promotes the integration and development of telecommunications in Central America and around the world.

Both organizations emphasized the importance of promoting the development of information and communications technologies in Mesoamerica. Through collaboration, ICANN and COMTELCA hope to foster a regional network of stakeholders and decision-makers, including governments, who will contribute to ICANN's policy development processes.

Media Contact

Alexandra Dans
Sr. Communications Manager, Latin American and the Caribbean
Montevideo, Uruguay
Telephone: + 598 95 831 442
Email: alexandra.dans@icann.org

About ICANN

ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you have to type an address into your computer – a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation and a community with participants from all over the world. ICANN and its community help keep the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It also promotes competition and develops policy for the top-level of the Internet's naming system and facilitates the use of other unique Internet identifiers. For more information, visit: http://www.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."