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Minutes | Board Finance Committee (BFC) Meeting

BFC Attendees: Maarten Botterman, Ron da Silva (Chair), Danko Jevtovic, and Tripti Sinha

BFC Apologies: Khaled Koubaa

Other Board Member Attendees: Cherine Chalaby, Merike Kaeo, Göran Marby, Rafael Lito Ibarra

ICANN Org Attendees: Susanna Bennett (SVP, Chief Operations Officer), Michelle Bright (Board Content Coordination Director), Xavier Calvez (SVP, Chief Financial Officer), Franco Carrasco (Board Operations Specialist), Samantha Eisner (Deputy General Counsel), Vinciane Koenigsfeld (Director, Board Operations), Elizabeth Le (Associate General Counsel), Cyrus Namazi (SVP, Global Domains Division), Wendy Profit (Senior Manager, Board Operations), Mary Wong (Vice President, Strategic Community Operations, Planning and Engagement), and Victoria Yang (Operations Program Manager)


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

  1. BFC Workplan – The BFC reviewed its Workplan, which is on target

  2. Two Year Planning Process – First Consultation – The BFC received a briefing on the proposal to extend the budget planning process beyond its current 15-month cadence to two years, and the feedback received from the first consultation with the ICANN Community regarding the proposal. The First Consultation is intended to define the issue and seek Community input as to whether there is enough time in the current 15 month cadence and if not, then how can the process be improved. Following the first consultation, the second step would be to define a solution addressing concerns raised during the first consultation. During the first consultation, ICANN org received 53 different public comments from six different sources. There were an equaled number of comments in favor of extending the planning process to two years, as there were comments against it. In both cases, the views of the commenters were that the extension could help provide more transparency, because more time would be spent on providing understanding on the budget. On the other hand, those who were not in favor of the extension were in favor of increasing transparency but did not think that extending the time would improve the transparency. Based upon its evaluation of the comments submitted, ICANN org recommended that the BFC not proceed with extending ICANN's planning process to a two year cadence as there was insufficient support to justify a change; at the same time, ICANN org noted that there are improvements that can be made within the current process of the 15 month cadence that would free up more time for engagement with the community and increase transparency. The BFC acknowledged that ICANN org and Board have been very transparent about the budgeting process with extensive community engagement. The BFC engaged in a discussion regarding the comments received in the first consultation, and ICANN org's recommendation. The BFC also explored possible available alternatives that will help relieve some of the tension and overlap of the budgeting cycle, increase transparency, increase participation, and achieve simpler processes. The BFC requested that ICANN org prepare materials addressing the BFC's discussion regarding the proposed two-year planning process with some proposed changes to the process that would increase community engagement, accountability and transparency, and reduce complexity, without necessarily extending the current process from 15 months two years.

    • Action: ICANN org to prepare materials addressing the BFC's discussion regarding the proposed two-year planning process with some proposed changes to the process that would increase community engagement, accountability and transparency, and reduce complexity, without necessarily extending the current process from 15 months two years.

  3. Five Year Operating & Financial Plan (O&FP) for FY21-25 - The BFC reviewed the timeline for development of the Five Year O&FP for FY21-25, which is on target. The first public comment period is anticipated to occur in June and July 2019 and contains three main elements: (i) financial assumptions; (ii) strategic initiative descriptions; and (iii) plan structure. This will be followed by development of a detailed plan that will then be published for a second public comment period in December 2019. The BFC received a briefing on the methodology and market analysis developed as part of the funding assumptions and projected funding levels over the next five years. The briefing included an overview of the process ICANN org used to develop projections that inform the 'base-case' funding assumptions for the period between FY2021-2025. In developing the projections, a range of factors are evaluated including recent and expected marketplace developments likely to have an impact on supply-side and demand-side conditions. ICANN org engaged with the DNS industry analyst and consulting firm ZookNIC Inc. to develop a summary of historical and forecast marketplace trends to support the development of its funding projections for FY2021-2025. The assumptions and projections will be published for public consultation as part of the first public comment period.

Published on 31 July 2019

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."