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What's Going on Now?

At any given time, ICANN is likely to be reviewing a number of different elements of the Internet's system. On top of that, due to the ever-changing nature of the Internet itself, ICANN is frequently changing and reviewing its structure and processes in order to keep it up to speed.

Public Comments

One of the easiest ways to review what is going on at this very moment is to check out what is currently undergoing a public comment period. All substantial policy changes - including drafts of documents - are put out for public comment, where any interested observer can make their views known. These public comments period can all be viewed at one webpage found at

On that page, you will see all open comment forums, those recently closed, upcoming forums and an archive of forums. An explanation of each forum is given, together with relevant links to other resources. All comments sent to ICANN are published and a summary/analysis of the comments carried out at the end of the period.

Supporting Organisations

On either side of the public comment forums are ICANN's supporting organisations and advisory committees, who are responsible for originating ideas and proposals, as well as commenting on others', and ultimately seeing policies through to their conclusion - approval by the ICANN Board. Each constituency has its own website, which details what it is currently reviewing, as well as what is coming up, and what was recently decided upon (the full structure is here).


For timely events and other issues that crop up by which is unlikely to form part of a formal decision-making process, ICANN also has a blog. Staff and key individuals in the ICANN community post news, reviews and simply interesting information on the blog, which is open to all and which welcomes comments from across the Internet.


The ICANN Board is the body ultimately responsible for making decisions. The Board typically meets once a month, with details of upcoming meetings and their agenda (when available) all available on a single webpage. That page also provide lengthy minutes of past meetings and transcripts in the case of public Board meetings.

Announcements and Meetings

All formal announcements made by the organisation are put on its own Announcements webpage, with a news alert service sending out automated emails every time there is a new piece of news. And finally, there are ICANN public meetings, which take place over a week and see the ICANN community come together at locations across the world in order to discuss issues face-to-face.

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."