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Media advisory - ICANN do IT in Wellington

March 20 2006 Media advisory

ICANN do IT in Wellington

From March 27-31, InternetNZ, the non-profit organisation overseeing the Internet in this country, is hosting ICANN Wellington. ICANN - Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers – see

This is big
There are 700+ delegates from around the globe attending ICANN Wellington; 90 governments from Congo to the Cayman Islands are represented.

But the small guys are here too
A host of meetings will be played out on the margins of the ICANN conference itself, including a meeting of Pacific Island Communications Ministers.

The broadband debate may widen
ICANN believes the Internet functions at its best with high-speed, open access broadband networks. Wellington is the only city in New Zealand to have such infrastructure - hence it is hosting ICANN. Communications Minister David Cunliffe is due to open the conference on March 27 at 9am

There will be international politics too
ICANN was a created at the instigation of the US government. The United Nations will be represented at the conference and with the support of some nations, will promote its challenge to ICANN to establish another international organisation to deal with Internet issues.

Then there’s .xxx
One issue likely to gain attention is the bid by an English businessman to establish a new top level domain solely for adult content - .xxx – a move not opposed by some internet safety groups (including NZ’s) because it could allow easier monitoring and blocking of access to sex sites.

What would the father of the Internet think?
Well, you might have a chance to ask. American computer scientist Dr Vint Cerf, the founder of IP (Internet Protocol) is ICANN's chair, and fondly referred to as “the father of the Internet”. He’s also Chief Internet Evangelist for Google and a visionary thinker on where the Internet is headed.

Who can attend?
Anyone who has a genuine interest in Internet governance issues is welcome to attend. ICANN is an almost totally open organisation. Much of the deliberations from Monday March 27 to 31 will be webcast live – see

You can register for the conference and obtain a full conference programme at

First up
A media conference with ICANN president and CEO, Dr Paul Twomey and Internet NZ’s executive director Keith Davidson will be held at 2pm on Friday March 24 in the boardroom of InternetNZ’s office, 9th floor, Exchange House, Willeston St, Wellington. Phone conference call facilities available.

Next up
ICANN Wellington begins formally at 9am on Monday March 27 at the Michael Fowler Centre/Wellington Convention Centre. There will be the opportunity for footage and photos of Hon Cunliffe meeting ICANN chair Vint Cerf and CEO/President Paul Twomey.

Media conference
A media conference with Vint Cerf is planned for 2pm on Friday March 31 at the Wellington Convention Centre (exact venue will be posted early Friday on a board in Michael Fowler Centre foyer). Facilities for those wishing to take part telephonically will be available.

Need more?
For more information about ICANN, explanative background or just help with the acronyms, contact


Points of particular interest at ICANN Wellington

Please note this is based on a provisional agenda for the ICANN meeting and times, even dates may vary. Changes will be advised where possible.

Friday March 24 Media conference, 2pm at InternetNZ’s boardroom.
ICANN CEO and president, Dr Paul Twomey and
InternetNZ’s executive director Keith Davidson will
outline what’s coming up over the week.

Saturday 25th: Asia Pacific Top Level Domain APTLD AGM
Governmental Advisory Committee’s GAC first day of meetings

Sunday 26th: Worldwide Alliance of Top Level Domains wwTLD Meeting
Monday 27th: 9.00am – Formal Opening Ceremony - Hon Cunliffe speaks
Country Code Names Supporting Organisation ccNSO Meeting

Tuesday 28th ccNSO Meeting
ICANN Workshop on Internet Protocol Version6 IPV6 (1pm-2pm)
Pacific Communications Forum starts 8.30am to consider Pacific Digital Strategy. James Cook Centra (officials only )

Wednesday 29th ICANN Workshop on Internet Governance (08:30-10:30)
Debate between UN Ambassador Janis Karklins and ICANN president/CEO Paul Twomey
Public Forum, Part I * (13:00- 18:00)

Thursday 30th Public Forum, Part 2 * (8.30 - ?)
Pacific Communications Forum - Ministerial meeting opens
Photo op - 9am James Cook Centra. Understand may be a
report back by Ministers when their day concludes

Friday 31st ICANN Board Meeting (8.30am to 1.00pm)
Media conference with ICANN chair Vint Cerf 2pm
Pasifika IT Day – lots of interesting speakers – see for programme


ICANN do acronyms - a quick guide

ccNSO - The Country-Code Names Supporting Organization
The purpose of the ccNSO is to engage and provide leadership in activities relevant to country-code top-level domains (ccTLDs).

CCTLD - Country Code Top Level Domain
Two letter domains, such as .nz (New Zealand), .uk (United Kingdom), and .jp (Japan) are called country code top level domains (ccTLDs) and correspond to a country, territory, or other geographic location. The rules and policies for registering domain names in the ccTLDs vary significantly and ccTLD registries limit use of the ccTLD to citizens of the corresponding country. Some ICANN-accredited registrars provide registration services in the ccTLDs in addition to registering names in .biz, .com, .info, .name, .net and .org

DNS - Domain Name System
The Domain Name System (DNS) helps users to find their way around the Internet. Every computer on the Internet has a unique address - just like a telephone number - which is a rather complicated string of numbers. It is called its "IP address" (IP stands for "Internet Protocol"). IP Addresses are hard to remember. The DNS makes using the Internet easier by allowing a familiar string of letters (the "domain name") to be used instead of the arcane IP address. So instead of typing, you can type It is a "mnemonic" device that makes addresses easier to remember.

Governmental Advisory Committee
The GAC is an advisory committee comprising appointed representatives of national governments, multi-national governmental organizations and treaty organizations, and distinct economies. Its function is to advise the ICANN Board on matters of concern to governments. The GAC will operate as a forum for the discussion of government interests and concerns, including consumer interests. As an advisory committee, the GAC has no legal authority to act for ICANN, but will report its findings and recommendations to the ICANN Board. The Chairman of the GAC is Sharil Tarmizi of Malaysia. The Secretariat of the GAC is based at the European Commission.

gTLD - Generic Top Level Domain
Most TLDs with three or more characters are referred to as "generic" TLDs, or "gTLDs". In the 1980s, seven gTLDs (.com, .edu, .gov, .int, .mil, .net, and .org) were created. Domain names may be registered in three of these (.com, .net, and .org) without restriction; the other four have limited purposes. In 2001 and 2002 seven new TLDs (.biz, .info, .name, .pro, .aero, .coop, and .museum were introduced.

GNSO - Generic Names Supporting Organization
The GNSO is the body of six constituencies, as follows: the Commercial and Business constituency, the gTLD Registry constituency, the ISP constituency, the non-commercial constituency, the registrar's constituency, and the IP constituency.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is an internationally organized, non-profit corporation that has responsibility for Internet Protocol (IP) address space allocation, protocol identifier assignment, generic (gTLD) and country code (ccTLD) Top-Level Domain name system management, and root server system management functions. As a private-public partnership, ICANN is dedicated to preserving the operational stability of the Internet; to promoting competition; to achieving broad representation of global Internet communities; and to developing policy appropriate to its mission through bottom-up, consensus-based processes

Internet Protocol
The communications protocol underlying the Internet, IP allows large, geographically diverse networks of computers to communicate with each other quickly and economically over a variety of physical links. An Internet Protocol Address is the numerical address by which a location in the Internet is identified. Computers on the Internet use IP addresses to route traffic and establish connections among themselves; people generally use the human-friendly names made possible by the Domain Name System.

Top-level Domains
TLDs are the names at the top of the DNS naming hierarchy. They appear in domain names as the string of letters following the last (rightmost) ".", such as "net" in "". The administrator for a TLD controls what second-level names are recognized in that TLD. The administrators of the "root domain" or "root zone" control what TLDs are recognized by the DNS. Commonly used TLDs include .com, .net, .nz etc

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