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ICANN Launches Pandemic Internet Access Reimbursement Program Pilot

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LOS ANGELES – 31 August 2020 – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today announced the Pandemic Internet Access Program Pilot for ICANN69, following the ICANN Board's resolution in support of the pilot program. To facilitate participation during the remote Public Meeting, the pilot program offers community members who have limited Internet capacity financial assistance to increase their Internet bandwidth during ICANN69.

Reimbursement amounts of up to USD 60 will be provided to eligible applicants who purchase additional Internet bandwidth (capacity or data limits) for the duration of the month or billing cycle for October 2020. The services must be rendered by a business entity or Internet service provider, specifically for Internet or cellular data service. The provider must also provide digital or paper documentation of the upgrade costs.

"It is important that we continue to find new, innovative ways of lowering the barriers to participation, so that community members have an opportunity to contribute and have their voices heard," said Maarten Botterman, Chair of the ICANN Board of Directors. "This pilot program is an important step towards that goal."

Interested community members must apply in advance of ICANN69, and those who meet the eligibility requirements will be selected to participate. The application deadline is Friday, 2 October 2020 at 23:59 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The application is available here.

For more information on the program, including eligibility requirements, click here. A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document is also available here.

About ICANN

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 not-for-profit public benefit corporation with a community of participants from all over the world.

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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"" — ????? — 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""icann.org"" is not an IDN."