At-Large is the name for the community of individual Internet users who participate in the policy development work of ICANN. More than 140 At-Large Structures representing the views of individual Internet users are active throughout the world. You can learn more about the community and its activities on the website ww.atlarge.icann.org, as well as how to join and participate in building the future of the worldwide Domain Name System (DNS) and other unique identifiers which every single user of the Internet relies on with every online visit.
At-Large supports global participation in ICANN by individual lnternet users who want to influence decisions that affect everyone’s use of the Internet every time they use the net. ICANN At-Large provides essential policy advice to ICANN, including guidance on how to ensure changes to the Internet’s addressing system can help ensure the Internet becomes a more trusted and safe place, how Internationalized Domain Names (“local language” domain names) are implemented, and how additional new top-level domains (.info, .name, .museum, etc.) are introduced. Groups are encouraged to register and participate in ICANN by submitting a simple online application form (available at http://www.atlarge.icann.org) to become an “At-Large Structure”.
At-Large provides a way for the worldwide individual Internet user community to engage in all the issues that are a part of ICANN’s work such as:
- Guidance on how internationalised domain names (“local language” domain names) are to be implemented;
- How additional new top-level domains (the part of a domain name after the dot, for example: .info, .name, .museum) are introduced;
- How to transition from the current Internet addressing system (“IPv4”) to the next-generation of Internet addresses (“IPv6”) in a stable and equitable manner.
How does At-Large work?
Groups throughout the world that deal with individual Internet users’ interests are encouraged to register and participate in ICANN by submitting a simple application form . Groups that meet the minimum requirements will be certified as “At-Large Structures”, or ALSes.
The ALSes located in each of the five geographic regions of the world have federated into Regional At-Large Organisations (RALOs), which provides a forum for them to work together on issues that affect their region.
Each RALO selects representatives to the At-Large Advisory Committee, which is a statutory body of ICANN that grants it official standing to advise the larger ICANN community, including the Board of Directors of ICANN, based upon the views of the individual Internet user community worldwide. It also works to bring more Internet user groups into the decision-making processes of ICANN.
Why Register as an At-Large Structure?
At-Large community member organizations are wholly independent from ICANN. Registration simply recognizes that these groups meet ICANN’s criteria for involving individual Internet users at the local or issue level in ICANN activities, and for promoting individuals’ understanding of, and participation in, the decisions that affect them. Numerous user groups from every region around the globe are already involved – but we still need your perspective!
By being designated an At-Large Structure your group gets:
- A recognized role in forming the policies that affect how everyone uses the lnternet, every day
- Quick and easy access to first-hand information on what’s happening and why it matters to end-users
- Opportunities to educate your members on ICANN’s work and lnternet developments
- Opportunities to network with other groups in your country and region as At-Large grows
- Representation in ICANN at the regional and international level, plus your group’s members will be eligible to serve on important regional and international decision-makingbodies in ICANN
- A free web page and other lnternet-based mechanisms to support your group’s work
What Type of Groups Can Register as At-Large Structures?
Any group that supports individuals’ ability to share their views on ICANN issues, and that meets the few simple criteria. Types of groups that are or could be At-Large Structures include:
- Professional societies (e.g. engineers, attorneys, etc.)
- Academic and research organizations
- Community networking groups
- Consumer advocacy groups
- Internet Society chapters
- Computer user organizations
- Internet civil society groups