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ICANN Kicks Off With First DNS-Entrepreneurship Center Roadshow This Month

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The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is pleased to announce the commencement of its Domain Name System (DNS) Roadshow, a series of workshops aimed to advance the DNS-Entrepreneurship Center's (DNS-EC) objectives, now in its second year of operations. The DNS-EC, a partnership between ICANN and Egypt's National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA), aims to contribute to the evolution of the domain name sector in Africa and the Middle East through a series of workshops. Titled "SWOT Workshop for National DNS Markets," these seminars aim to develop expertise in the DNS business related areas, and provide resources to support the implementation of initiatives and projects in this field.

The Domain Name System (DNS) helps users find their way around the Internet. The DNS matches domain names, which we use to access the Internet, with numeric addresses (IP addresses), which digital devices use to communicate with each other. It's very much like how a phone book matches names to phone numbers.

Four workshops are planned from now until the end of the year, with the first two scheduled to start this month. One in Tunis, Tunisia, with the collaboration of our partners the Tunisie Internet (ATI), is taking place between 8-9 October 2015, followed by a second workshop, which will be hosted by the Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA), in Doha, Qatar between 11-12 October 2015. The objective of the workshops is to construct a Strategic Plan for ccTLD Registry based on a SWOT (Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats) analysis of the country's DNS market. Potential attendees include ccTLD managers, IDN ccTLD manager, and the Registrars/Resellers in the respective countries. The two workshops will be conducted in partnership with EnCirca Domain Name Registrar and Startingdot Registry.

"We are very excited about this road show. It comes at just the right time, as the DNS-EC enters its second year and becomes more proactive in addressing the needs of the DNS community by expanding its outreach and building the necessary infrastructure across Africa and the Middle East."

The DNS Entrepreneurship Center (DNS-EC) announced in June of last year, during ICANN50 in London, is an important milestone, materializing the plans set out by the Middle East Strategy for ICANN, to serve communities in Africa and the Middle East. The project is a partnership with Egypt's NTRA, and is being implemented in three phases – Foundation (1 July 2014-30 June 2015), Launch (1 July 2015-30 June 2017) and Operation (On-going).

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To learn more about the Domain Name System (DNS), please go to


ICANN's mission is to ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet you have to type an address into your computer - a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers across the world. Without that coordination we wouldn't have one global Internet. ICANN was formed in 1998. It is a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with participants from all over the world dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It promotes competition and develops policy on the Internet's unique identifiers. ICANN doesn't control content on the Internet. It cannot stop spam and it doesn't deal with access to the Internet. But through its coordination role of the Internet's naming system, it does have an important impact on the expansion and evolution of the Internet. For more information please visit:

For further information please contact:

Luna Madi
Communications Director, EMEA
London, UK
Tel: +44 7780 947574

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."