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Board Finance Committee (BFC) Minutes

  • BFC members: Raimundo Beca, Steve Crocker, Dennis Jennings, Rajasekhar Ramaraj (Chair), and Bruce Tonkin (Observer).
  • Other Board members present: Peter Dengate Thrush, Paul Twomey, Steve Goldstein
  • Staff members present: Doug Brent, Kevin Wilson, Kurt Pritz, John Jeffrey, and Dan Halloran. Paul Levins and Nick Tomasso joined in progress.
  • Also present: Larry Smith, UBS

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

  • Approved minutes from previous BFC meeting
  • Received update on ICANN Reserve Fund performance from investment advisor Larry Smith of UBS. Losses experienced thus far ($4.6mil) were understood given the overall market decline. Management of the Reserve Fund was in compliance with the Investment Policy. The performance to date is acceptable given the guidance of the Investment Policy. Requested more analyses on variability and other characteristics of the investments. Decided not to adjust the Investment Policy at this time but required more information. Requested staff to hire consultant to evaluate investment policy. Requested staff not to transfer more cash from the working capital fund into the Reserve Fund until the Investment Policy has been reviewed.
  • Discussed the methodology and approach to calculating and clarifying the ccTLD support costs in relation to IDN ccTLD contributions
  • Received update on FY10 Operating Plan and Budget. Noted the introduction of the new (functional reporting) categories for expenditure reporting.
  • Discussed planning and budget for the Seoul meeting. The proposed budget is US$2.25. Staff was requested to explore getting the budget to below US$2.0 million.
  • Discussed planning and budget for Africa meeting (First meeting in calendar 2010; budget coming in at US$2.4mm, but BFC would prefer $2mm. Discussed limiting the expenditure on international meetings in FY 2010 to US$6 million.
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."