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Press Release: ICANN Seeks Partner Organizations to Provide Internet Access During Emergency Situations

LOS ANGELES – 21 February 2023 - As part of its new Emergency Assistance Program for Continued Internet Access, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is seeking Expressions of Interest (EOI) from eligible organizations focused on supporting Internet access and recovery for local populations during disasters and emergencies.

ICANN helps enable a single, global, and interoperable Internet that serves all people around the world. It is through unimpeded access to the Internet and the free flow of information that people can gain knowledge and exposure to a diversity of viewpoints and information. This is especially critical when timely access to information and communication may be lifesaving.

The Emergency Assistance Program is designed to support access to Internet infrastructure during emergency situations, such as natural or man-made disasters, when operators or other relevant actors might otherwise not have the resources to do so. ICANN will coordinate with the selected organizations to identify if a monetary contribution would be appropriate in each specific instance. The total annual contribution will not exceed $1 million.

ICANN provided support for continued Internet access during the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and plans to build on this experience with this new program.

"We leveraged what we have learned from our experience with the emergency situation in Ukraine to establish an emergency assistance program that allows us to respond to new or protracted qualifying events that have resulted in disruption to Internet access," said ICANN Interim President and CEO Sally Costerton. "I look forward to selecting partners that are like-minded in providing continuing access to this critical resource when it is most needed."

Organizations that wish to participate in this EOI are requested to submit their proposals via email to by 23:59 UTC on 27 March 2023. Proposals must be submitted in English.

For more information on background, requirements, selection criteria, and terms and conditions, please visit the dedicated website.


ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure, and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a nonprofit public benefit corporation with a community of participants from all over the world.

Media Contacts

Liana Teo
Head of Communications, APAC
Tel. +65 9113 2001

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."