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ICANN57 Preview: What to Expect in Hyderabad

Donna Austin

The domain name industry descends on Hyderabad this week for ICANN's 57th annual public meeting, with a mixed sentiment of excitement and determination as ICANN stands on its own two feet absent US Government oversight. We'll have to get used some new acronyms as a result: PTI — Public Technical Identifier; and the CSC — Customer Standing Committee, but otherwise I don't think many of us will notice the difference.

This will be an extended meeting, seven days, as we complete the implementation of the Meeting Strategy Working Group proposal, which resulted in some changes to the meetings format. The seven days created some challenges for scheduling and I don't think anyone is still quite sure what day is Constituency Day.

The Cross-Community Working Group (CCWG) Accountability continues its work, now focused on Work Stream 2 issues, which include staff and supporting organization and advisory committee accountability, addressing jurisdiction-related questions and improving ICANN's transparency.

A few of the key topics likely to be of interest at ICANN57.

  1. Two-character labels – This very longstanding issue should be resolved in Hyderabad, as it is on the main agenda for the ICANN Board meeting on 8 November 2016. It is expected that the Board will consider and approve proposed measures to avoid confusion that registry operators will be required to implement in order for ICANN to approve the release of two character labels from reservation. It is understood that the measures will be based on the Proposed Measures previously posted by ICANN for public comment with modifications to take into account the comments received.
  2. Next round of TLDs – Among other measures working towards this goal, the Policy Development Process (PDP) on New gTLD Subsequent Procedures has commenced work and will have a half-day meeting in Hyderabad. While no-one would argue that this is a considerable undertaking, the challenge is ensuring that the PDP is completed in a timely manner so that a next round can commence in the short rather than longer term. Some would say that five years between rounds is too long and at Neustar, we agree.
  3. IGO Acronyms – The Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council, the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) and the ICANN Board are expected to continue discussions on this longstanding topic in order to seek resolution. This has largely become a process over substance issue and while all parties are willing to work in good faith in order to resolve the matter, this clearly should not be done by compromising documented process.

It will also be a meeting of particular interest to us here at Neustar, as a number of our team take part in various aspects of the community. The inaugural Customer Standing Committee (CSC) will convene in Hyderabad and we're very proud to have Neustar's Kal Feher representing gTLD registry operators along with Elaine Pruis from Donuts on the CSC. Becky Burr will take her place on the ICANN Board replacing veteran member Bruce Tonkin. Bruce has been a fabulous advocate, not only for registries and registrars, but for ICANN and the multi-stakeholder model and I personally want to thank Bruce and wish him all the very best.

We wish safe travels to all those heading to Hyderabad and look forward to engaging with the global Internet community at this meeting.

By Donna Austin, Policy & Industry Affairs Manager at Neustar
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