The APAC Space web conference was held on 30 July 2019, and participants discussed the Universal Acceptance Steering Group's (UASG) FY20 Action Plan for Universal Acceptance of Domain Names and Email Addresses. Dr. Sarmad Hussain (IDN and UA Programs Director, ICANN) introduced Universal Acceptance and the UASG FY20 Action Plan. Dr. Ajay Data (UASG Chair) was the APAC Space Community Facilitator for this session. 11 community members attended the web conference.
Key action points following the meeting are:
- Join the UA discussion mailing list at https://uasg.tech/subscribe to keep updated on UA discussions.
- Join a UASG working group (WG) to contribute to UA efforts by filling up the form at https://forms.gle/GsASQhJA5rrGg6kF9.
- Apply or recommend someone to be a UA Ambassador at https://uasg.tech/help-wanted/.
Links to the meeting recording and presentation slides can be found at the APAC Space Community Wiki page here: https://community.icann.org/display/GSEAPAC/APAC+Space.
Details of the session are as follows:
Introduction to APAC Space
Joyce Chen, Senior Manager of Global Stakeholder Engagement Strategy & Development, ICANN APAC, introduced APAC Space as a space for the ICANN APAC community to discuss ICANN-related issues.
UA and the UASG FY20 Action Plan
Dr. Sarmad Hussain introduced that the vision for Universal Acceptance (UA) is for all domain names and email addresses to work in all software applications. He also introduced the Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG) – a community-led effort to promote and engage relevant stakeholders on UA. The UASG publishes case studies, documentation and other tools to guide and help these developers. Examples include the Quick Guide to UA and the UA Case Study of the Government of Rajasthan in India.
Action Plan for Universal Acceptance of Domain Names and Email Addresses (FY20)
On the UASG’s FY20 Action Plan, Sarmad highlighted the following working groups (WG) for the APAC community to consider participating in:
- Technology WG to engage technology enablers and technology developers. Technology enablers are organizations that produce standards, best practices and software programming languages. Technology developers are organizations and individuals who develop and/or direct applications.
- Email Address Internationalization (EAI) WG to train organizations providing email software and email services to enable EAI in their email services.
- Measurements WG to collect data and publish regular reports on the effectiveness of UA Readiness efforts.
- Communications WG to develop the communication strategy, messaging and outreach to different communities.
- Local Initiatives WG to oversee UA outreach initiatives in the local communities by engaging influential organizations and individuals to help promote UA. The Local Initiatives WG also plans to engage policymakers from governments to generate demand for UA Ready products by incorporating UA Readiness into accessibility standards and procurement processes.
- UA Ambassadors WG to increase awareness of UA by advocating and speaking to local and regional communities.
Community Facilitator Dr. Ajay Data led the discussion and Q&A, which largely centered around clarifying community questions on the roles and strategy of the WGs, as well as accessing UA outreach materials.
Clarifications Regarding UASG WGs
- Of note, Sarmad said that the WGs had begun discussing their work and were operational aside from the Local Initiatives WG and the Communications WG. The UASG will be appointing a Chair and Co-Chairs for each WG.
- Community members also asked for further clarification of specific WGs. The responses are as follows:
- Communications WG. Ajay elaborated that this WG will support the other WGs by developing resources and messaging to help with UA outreach activities. The Communications WG will also develop blogs and news articles to increase UA awareness and help with public relations.
- Measurement WG. On how this WG would be organized, Sarmad explained that it would have a more back-office role and does not plan to engage directly with stakeholder groups.
- Local Initiatives WG. In terms of its outreach strategy, Ajay said that once the charter was ready, the WG will group into their respective regions to discuss their outreach strategies. This would allow the WGs to tailor their engagement according to the dynamics of their region. The charter will be shared on the APAC Space mailing list when it is ready.
- Technology WG. On whether this WG would work with the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), Ajay responded positively as IETF is considered a technology enabler. Furthermore, some members of the IETF were also members of the WG. Ajay added that while the UASG's role is not to design standards for UA Readiness, it advocates for developers to follow these standards. If the UASG sees an issue in a UA-related standard or a protocol, they would raise it to the relevant standards development organization (such as the IETF) to address it.
Accessing UA Outreach Materials
- In response to a comment that the UASG website was only available in English, Ajay replied that key UASG documents had been translated by volunteers. More volunteers would be needed to help with translation. The UASG will also take community’s feedback and discuss the feasibility of making the UASG website available in different languages.
- Community members keen to learn more about the benefits of UA to businesses may refer to the UASG study titled “Unleashing the Power of All Domains: The Social, Cultural, and Economic Benefits of Universal Acceptance”. The UASG is also interested in engaging news sources to help publicize similar articles to various Internet industry and user groups.
- The UASG website also features several case studies for reference, such as the case study of the government of Pakistan issuing an EAI address to every citizen and adopting UASG’s Quick Guide to Tender and Contractual Documents.
Joyce reminded the APAC Space community to participate in the APAC Space survey before it closed on 1 August 2019. Feedback from the survey will help to plan future APAC Space sessions.