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Milestone: Number of At-Large Structures Reaches 200

Celebrating 200 At-Large Structures Milestone

Today, we celebrate an exciting milestone in the history of the At-Large Community – the At-Large Advisory Committee has accredited the 200th organization as an At-Large Structure (ALS).

From the Arctic to the Cook Islands, ALSes form the basis of the At-Large Community, which represents the best interests of Internet users in ICANN's multistakeholder model. Across the world's five geographic regions, 92 countries and territories now have ALSes, with 42 in Africa, 44 in Asia Pacific, 37 in Europe, 50 in Latin America and the Caribbean Islands, and 27 in North America.

Since September 2003, when the first ALS (Internet Society Italy Chapter) was accredited, the At-Large Community has seen a steady increase of ALSes. In the past five years, the At-Large Community has gained approximately 14 ALSes each year.

ALSes are organizations that are wholly independent from ICANN. Whether they are Internet-related consumer rights groups or academic organizations, ALSes share a passion to further the development of information and communications technologies. ALSes contribute to policy activities that influence the technical coordination of the Domain Name System. In fact, about 33% ALSes are Internet Society chapters.

The ALS accreditation process recognizes that these groups meet ICANN's criteria for involving individual Internet users at the local or issue level, and that they promote individuals' understanding of and participation in ICANN. Within ICANN, they actively contribute to policy advice development activities and play a key role in ICANN's regional outreach strategies and civil society engagement. They work to ensure that the Internet continues to serve the global public interest.

To learn more about ALSes, please visit:

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Domain Name System
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"""" is not an IDN."