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Remote Hub Relaunches for ICANN58 with Updated Guidelines

In 2015–2016, ICANN's Development and Public Responsibility Department began oversight of remote hub operations for ICANN's Public Meetings. The past two meetings, ICANN56 and ICANN57, did not offer the remote hub option due to the unique nature of our first Policy Forum in Helsinki, Finland, and the unfortunate loss of equipment in the fire aboard the freighter en route to Hyderabad, India.

We will reintroduce remote hubs for ICANN58 in Copenhagen, Denmark, with updated terms and guidelines for our prospective hub hosts. The revised terms and conditions and online application will go live on Thursday, 19 January 2017. The application window for hosting remote hubs will close on Thursday, 16 February 2017.

These new terms reflect lessons learned and respect for ICANN's post-transition mission. The ICANN organization realizes that for the remote hub experience to successfully simulate an ICANN meeting room in look and feel – with topical discussions that stimulate asking questions through the hub technology – the host might incur larger costs. These costs could be related to social media or outreach to potential new stakeholders, or to gaining access to a larger facility with stable network connectivity. If remote hub hosts meet all other criteria, we will take such verifiable costs into consideration for reimbursement.

Participation via remote hub also has technical costs for ICANN, so for us to facilitate, it must make fiscal sense. ICANN already provides video feeds for every session at an ICANN meeting, an upgrade that has happened over the past six months. To justify the expense of the remote hub technology, we need a minimum number of 25 participants.

As an organization, we acknowledge our responsibility to support the outreach efforts of our community, to create awareness and build capacity in the ICANN multistakeholder model, and to provide equal access for all when it comes to having their voices heard. The ICANN organization is committed to maintaining access for anyone who is interested. Going forward, we will continue to examine the need and correct use of this remote participation option so we can understand its value going forward.

ICANN will review proposals and contact potential hosts shortly after the application window closes. We will guide successful applicants in the terms and process before ICANN58.

If you have questions, please email rp_hubs@icann.org.

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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."