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ICANN Discontinues Remote Hubs at Public Meetings

Two years ago, the ICANN organization introduced remote hubs at some sessions at ICANN Public Meetings on an experimental basis. The aim was to encourage participation by people who could not attend the meetings in person. A particular focus at the time was on providing access to discussions of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) stewardship transition.

The remote hubs did not bring significant numbers of new participants into ICANN. The demand for the hub experience was never high – rarely reaching 10 hubs, with a limited number of participants in each hub. In addition, technical complications on the remote end often prevented participants from contributing actively. For these reasons, the ICANN organization has decided to discontinue remote hubs and instead focus our resources and efforts on other tools.

ICANN's Technical team has invested in the most up-to-date remote participation tools. Updates to the Adobe Connect software have enhanced the meeting experience – with live video, document sharing, and interactive audio phone bridges (when requested). In every Adobe Connect room, an ICANN staff member acts as a remote participation manager. This person addresses technical concerns and ensures that remote participants have equal time and opportunity to communicate with participants in the physical room. Throughout sessions, remote participants can ask questions, get speedy responses and download documentation.

We want to thank all of you who experimented with remote hubs. We believe you will find that our remote participation tools will allow you to be an equal participant in ICANN Public Meetings.

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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""icann.org"" is not an IDN."