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ICANN Wraps Up Fourth Registry/Registrar Regional Gathering

ICANN last week hosted its fourth Registry/Registrar Regional Gathering and this one took place in Santa Monica, CA. More than 65 guests representing 30 registrars and 12 registries/sponsors attended making this the largest event to date.

The event kicked off with an open house at ICANN’s main office in Marina del Rey, CA, where President & CEO Paul Twomey addressed the group. He cited that with more than 122Million domain names representing approximately $2.4Trillion in annual e-commerce transactions, security, stability and global interoperability of the Internet remain at the heart of ICANN’s mission.

The gatherings provide an informal setting for ICANN, registries/sponsors and registrars to speak openly with one another about matters of importance to them and their constituencies. The gatherings are not intended to replace ICANN meetings, but rather to create a collegial environment for dialogue and networking.

In addition to the networking aspect of the event, a partial list of speakers included ICANN staff members Tina Dam on IDNs, Stacy Burnette on Contractual Compliance, Carole Cornell on Project Management, and Paul Levins about transparency, openness and accessibility.

Some of the subjects discussed included new registry services and contractual compliance. Regarding new registry services, there was a suggestion that the registrar constituency could be more involved by providing feedback on requests after they have been posted for public comment and that ICANN could more proactively involve registrars in the process by seeking out their counsel. On the subject of contractual compliance, a discussion ensued about the numbers and nature of complaints received by ICANN. There is no doubt that contractual compliance will continue to be a hot topic for registries, registrars and ICANN.

I also want to thank Skenzo, LogicBoxes and Afilias for their generous financial support of the event. ICANN began last year seeking corporate sponsorship to help underwrite a portion of the event’s costs and to date the interest and response have been outstanding.

That’s about it for this first event of 2007. The next regional gathering is tentatively scheduled for late July in Asia, followed by a European event in December.


    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."