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Board Finance Committee Minutes

Minutes for the 10 February 2009 Board Finance Committee (BFC) meeting

BFC members: Raimundo Beca, Steve Crocker, Dennis Jennings, and Rajasekhar Ramaraj (Chair).

Staff members present: Doug Brent, Kevin Wilson, Kurt Pritz, Diane Schroeder, and Dan Halloran.

The following is a summary of discussion, actions taken and actions identified:

  • Approved previous BFC meeting minutes
  • Received update and refresher on ICANN reserve fund; CFO gave history of development and adoption of investment policy; presentation to come in Mexico City from UBS on performance and compliance with policy; BFC will get input from advisers in Mexico and then make a recommendation after that; CFO reports that US$25mm was invested in November 2007, plus $8mm in August 2008, and current value is at $28mm -- approximately a 14% loss.
  • Received and discussed update on YTD budget performance and revenue numbers. Actual YTD revenue through December is close to budget. Given global economic markets, BFC requested staff to study revenue projections further for possible impacts on FY09 forecasts as well as on the FY10 revenue budget.
  • Discussed response to comments on new gTLDs; as discussed last month will keep Evaluation fee at $185k; will reduce annual registry fee from $75k to $25k; remove 5% of revenue and change to flat $0.25 per transaction after 50k transactions; Refunds set at 70%, 35%, and 20%.
  • Discussed timetable for FY2010 Budget and status and plans for ccTLD contributions.
  • Discussed estimate of new gTLD application numbers, and clarified that the separate budget will have a flexible component to account for a variable number of applications.
  • Discussed budget increases in personnel are largely due to run rate (new hires in FY09 work for 12 full months in FY10); the big part of the increase is the new gTLD increase; and some for other significant programs.
  • Approved recommendation for Board to adopt the international currency risk management policy.
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."