I had the privilege to participate in ICANN57 meeting (3-7 Nov 2016) – India, Hyderabad through the ISPCP Consistency On-Boarding Pilot Program.
The new thing this time that I was “picked” by Janice Douma Lange from the Fellowship program alumni pool without applying 🙂 unlike the three ICANN meetings that I attended in the past.
Well, if you are new to this, and would like to have introductory information about ICANN and the fellowship program you may have a look at the blog post of my 1st meeting that I attended in Los Angeles back in October 2014.
- Community On-Boarding Pilot Program
ICANN has created this program recently, just before meeting #56 in Helsinki June 2016.
This program aims to create Welcome Kits to provide newcomers with the needed information to join different kind of constituencies smoothly, and I’m working on the ISPCP constituency part, and for now we are preparing some relevant documents and drafts.
It stands for Internet Service Providers and Connectivity Providers Constituency and it’s member of the Generic Names Supporting Organizations (GNSO).
This constituency represents the views and interests of Internet service providers (ISPs) and connectivity providers at ICANN.
The members of the ISPCP Constituency are entities that operate Internet backbone networks and provide Internet access and related services to end users, they are key players of the Internet, and have an essential role in its stability and development.
It’s recommended for ISPs to join the constituency to keep in touch with the latest developments in this field, as well as to be part of the policy development process which is in line with the Multi-stakeholder model where all parties participate together.
- Hyderabad arrival
I arrived early after long flight from London, got advantage of the free time by making some site seeing in the heart of Hyderabad with some awesome friends, we’ve been to Charminar, Golkonda fortress, Mecca Masjid and other places and this was my very first exposure to India!.
It was the most important one for me as participant through the On-Boarding Community Program, as I was required to attend the On-Boarding Download Session, in this session each one of us spoke about his/her progress in this program, for me I introduced the ISPCP constituency, talked about how we have joined it and shed light on my journey with ICANN.
In my talk, I also mentioned that I’m kind of new to the ISPCP itself!, so I’m trying to do two things in parallel: to fully understand what’s going on with it, as well as to work on the On-Boarding Community Program.
During my download, Albert Daniels , asked me: why should ISPs join the constituency? And how can you convince them? My answer was: at some point of time, ICANN policies would impact their business, current and future services, such as the new TLDs issue, so they should be part of this to present their views!.
I also suggested to have three persons working on each consistency within our program, and finally, I advised to improve the social media presence of constituencies, especially Facebook and Twitter to have better engagements with communities.
At night, I enjoyed dinner with Fellowship program coaches and NextGenn fellows!.
Well, being participant through the On-Boarding Program gave me great flexibility in this meeting!, as I wasn’t required to attend all fellowships sessions (morning, afternoon..etc) like the previous meetings, so I was picking specific sessions each day, taking ISPCP ones with a priority.
I decided to attend the Fellowship/NextGen meet & greet session, which is always a great chance to introduce yourself to fellows and share your experience among them.
In my small talk, I stated that there’s kind of career path within ICANN organization!, starting with your first fellowship program, then a second one, then a coach, and last but not least as an On-Boarding Community Pilot participant!, just like what happened with me, from ICANN51 all the way to ICANN57!, simply: as long as you are active and contributing you’ll keep coming to ICANN meetings through different programs!.
I also reminded fellows that we act like ambassadors to our countries, so it’s our call to spread the word back home to engage more people and keep the ball rolling.
At the evening, I attended the DNSSEC for everybody session, to watch the awesome Skit that I’ve been watching since two years without getting bored 🙂 , I figured out actors have been improving their skills by time!.
I introduced myself in the ISPCP constituency closed meeting, I let them know what I was doing and clarified my affiliation with the On-Boarding program, Tony Holmes and constituency members were very welcoming and encouraging.
it’s worth mentioning that during this week I spent some time -each day- volunteering at ICANN booth, was answering people questions and inquiries, trying to help them as much as could, alongside my colleagues.
This was helpful experience as well, since I was getting “new questions” every day, thus I was gaining more information and knowledge, and had good chances and plenty of time to network with participants.
At night, we enjoyed Indian food and culture at the Gala Night event.
I attended the ISPCP constituency public meeting, where I was –for the first time- the Remote Participation Manager!, which was fun and useful, as you need to focus with speakers to navigate slides properly, you also should pay attention to the Agenda and Remote Participation Chat panel, this way you get the most out of sessions :).
The main issue that was discussed is the Universal Acceptance (UA) of the new gTLDs (generic top-level domain), where the constituency participates in the UASG (Universal Acceptance Steering Group), the UA is the concept that all domain names are treated equally, without problems with new gTLDs or domains that have non-Latin characters.
More issues were discussed related to the GNSO council and various future proposals.
At night, I spent some time at the APRALO Show case & Civil Society event, then headed to Casbah Restaurant where I was invited to have dinner with the MEAC (Middle East & Adjacent Country) Working Group, the place, food and gathering were awesome!.
Started with the ISPCP Outreach event: ISPs & Telcos, Connect with what’s next, which was interesting, had many sessions about success stories in India, South America and other parts of the world, the most interesting part for me was the Internet Exchange Point one, by Anthony Harris where he spoke about their success story in Argentina, in connecting all ISPs together and having huge amount of local traffic exchanging through the point, the story was inspiring for me to improve and support the Palestinian Exchange point, which eventually improves the user experience in Palestine.
This was my last ICANN day, as I had to leave for some works, at the evening, I bid Farewell to friends and colleagues hoping that we meet again in ICANN59; -supposedly- if I’m following the pattern of attending the odd numbers of ICANN meetings since 51 :).
- Palestine team
Palestine was well represented in this event by three participants coming through different three programs: Nadira Al-Araj – Coach at the Fellowship Program, Zeina Daghlas – NextGen Program, while I was coming through the On-Boarding Community Pilot Program as stated earlier.
Fortunately, The India VISA was piece of cake, took about 10 days to get issued from the Indian representative in Ramallah, knowing that we were invited by the Indian ministry of Electronics & IT which definitely helped.
Some remarks about India before wrapping up:
- People are very friendly and service-oriented.
- Uber is the best way to move in India, cheap, safe and convenient.
- Mosquitoes were scaring the hell out of me! They’re the carrier of dangerous diseases such as Malaria, however, it seems such diseases are common in specific seasons over the year.
- I used a BSNL SIM, it was fine but the activation was an issue, took more than 24 hours to be done.
- I didn’t find Hyderabad that touristic city, apparently other cities such as Delhi and Mumbai are much better.
- The food was an issue and the Indian cuisine is totally different from mine (Middle Eastern), however, Biryani –which I’m already familiar with- was excellent.
- Cost-living is low, which is good for visitors.
- I tried Amazon India and the service couldn’t be worse, I ordered 6 small items, 2 were never delivered, one had a problem, though I opened more than four chat-sessions with customer care!.
- I stayed at Oakwood Residence Kapil Hyderabad and the event was in Novotel Hyderabad Convention Centre and both were great!.
Finally, I’m grateful for the experience, was informative, new and memorable, thanks ICANN for the continuous support :).
Osama Tamimi, Jerusalem, Palestine