ICANN in Puerto Rico – Day Five Wrap

Day five, the final day of ICANN’s meeting in San Juan, and the news reports give coverage of ICANN’s moving towards implementing new top level domains (TLDs) and internationalised domain names (IDNs).News reports from Reuters, IDG and AP all report ICANN is on track to implement new TLDs in mid-2008 (well, that’s what the ICANN announcement says too). These could be geoTLDs or gTLDs, such as .berlin.”One of the real highlights of the San Juan meeting was the dialogue around issues that will impact the future of the Internet – especially new generic top-level domains and internationalised domain names,” said Dr Paul Twomey, President and CEO of ICANN at the meeting. Further, “[w]ith the progress we have made in San Juan, we’re on track for the new applications and approvals policy to be ready for the start of 2008, and the introduction of new TLDs by mid-year.”The news reports also report the likelihood of the implementation of IDNs in mid-2008. Significant testing has been undertaken by ICANN to ensure the introduction of IDNs doesn’t cause chaos. Part of the testing involves engineers feeding “domain name directories with nonsensical strings that can be removed quickly should trouble arise. Even if they succeed, however, more work remains on developing policies on such names” reports AP.”On IDNs, we heard that the technical community has made real progress. If all things go well, we will see IDNs evaluated live in the root by November this year. This is great news for the international community,” Dr Twomey said.”Another area that is crucial to the expansion of the Internet is the amount of address space available. IPv4 address space is projected to be fully distributed in just a few years. It is vital that people understand that future growth of the Internet depends on the people deploying and investing in IPv6,” said Dr Vint Cerf, Chair of ICANN.Other highlights reported by ICANN included:

  • a public forum on the draft set of Frameworks and Principles for accountability and transparency.
  • the debut of an enhanced public participation website, and new global maps of ICANN related information.
  • discussions around ICANN’s Registrar Accreditation Agreements (RAA), the Accreditation process and the data escrow process.
  • the signing of the fifth Regional At Large Organisation agreement – this one with the North American region – to provide global Internet users increased and official opportunities for input with ICANN. It means that the entire global at-large structure is now in place. The first of these structures was only set up in December 2006 so the progress in providing access to ICANN discussions for Internet users has been a high priority.

ICANN reports there were more than 1,000 attendees at the meeting from 115 countries.Reports and further information on the conclusion of ICANN’s meeting in San Juan can be found from:
ICANN moves ahead with international domain names (IDG)
http://www.infoworld.com/article/07/06/29/ICANN-makes-progress-on-international-domain-names_1.htmlEnglish may lose domain of Web addresses (AP)
http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2007/06/26/1182623849118.htmlInternet group expects more domain names next year (Reuters)
http://uk.reuters.com/article/internetNews/idUKN2942798920070629Top-Level Domains, Internationalized Domain Names, and Address Space Discussions Make Progress in San Juan (news release)
http://icann.org/announcements/announcement-2-29jun07.htm

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