The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG) have released participation figures from the first-ever Universal Acceptance (UA) Day in a new report published today. According to the report, thousands of members of the global Internet community across five continents took part in the milestone event. Held on 28 March 2023 and organized by ICANN and the volunteer-led UASG, UA Day was established as a means to rally local, regional, and global stakeholders to spread awareness and encourage UA adoption through a mix of virtual, in-person, and hybrid informational and training sessions. UA Day marked the first time a diverse set of technical and language communities, companies, governments, and Domain Name System (DNS) industry stakeholders mobilized to champion UA and a multilingual Internet on a global scale.
UA Day By the Numbers
- Total participants: 9,424
- Proposals received: 90
- Events held: 50+
- Countries/territories represented: 40+
- Languages represented: 22 (Arabic, Armenian, Bengali, Cantonese, Chichewa, Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Hindi, Myanmar, Nepal, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Sinhala, Spanish, Swahili, Thai, Turkish, and Urdu)
The keystone UA Day event was held in New Delhi, India, hosted by India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) through the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI), in collaboration with ICANN and the UASG. Dozens of other events were held over a three-month period from the end of February to May 2023, with most events occurring on or around 28 March 2023. Participants came from many categories of stakeholders, including: businesses; governments, including telecom regulators; research institutions; civil society and non-government organizations, including At-Large Structures and Internet Society (ISOC) chapters; IT companies and technology startups; telecom companies; the DNS industry; Internet service providers and hosting providers; and academia, including faculty and students.
“UA Day was conceived as a way to build global awareness of the benefits of UA and encourage UA adoption,” said UASG Chair Anil Kumar Jain. “The enthusiastic response from stakeholders worldwide is encouraging and shows that there is strong demand for a more inclusive and multilingual Internet through Universal Acceptance.”
UA is a technical necessity that ensures all valid domain names and email addresses, regardless of script, language, or character length, can be equally used by all Internet-enabled applications, devices, and systems. It is considered a foundational requirement for the continued expansion of the Internet. Since 2009, the landscape for domain names has changed markedly – in overall number of top-level domain names (TLDs) available, TLD character length, and scripts available. However, the checks used by many software applications to validate domain names and email addresses often use rules created many years ago. Achieving UA ensures everybody has the ability to experience the full social and economic power of the Internet using their chosen domain name and email address that best aligns with their interests, business, culture, language, and script.
“UA is a strategic priority for ICANN. As a cornerstone of today’s global Internet, it is crucial to enabling consumer choice and to bringing the next billion users online,” said ICANN Interim President and CEO Sally Costerton. “We are proud to support the inaugural UA Day and look forward to future awareness campaigns to help make the Internet more inclusive for all users, regardless of the language they speak and write.”
To learn more about UA Day, read the full recap report. For more information about UA, visit uasg.tech and follow the hashtag #Internet4All on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.