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Dates: 17-21 November, 2013
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Host: NIC Argentina
Venue: Sheraton Buenos Aires Hotel
& Convention Center
Website: ICANN 48 Website
Total Registrants: 2,034
Registration: Public List - ccNSO List

ICANN 48 was held from November 17 to November 21, 2013 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was hosted by NIC Argentina, the organization that manages Argentina's .ar ccTLD Registry. The event drew 2,034 registered participants, and was the final ICANN meeting in 2013. ICANN's 15th Anniversary was celebrated in Buenos Aires. It was the first time an ICANN meeting was held in Buenos Aires, and the second time an ICANN meeting was held in Argentina since ICANN 22 in Mar del Plata in 2005.

Key developments

Sessions and discussions focused on the continued rollout of the New gTLD Program, as a small batch of applications had reached delegation and many more were facing RA contracting and possible auctions. Within the program itself, the issue of Name Collisions was debated, as well as what ICANN should do with the funds received from eventual "last resort" auctions in the New gTLD Program. Internet Governance was at the forefront of many discussions, in light of the NSA's surveillance on the Internet.[1]

President's Opening Session

The meeting included the customary Welcome Ceremony and President Fadi Chehadé's opening session, on November 18th. Mr. Chehadé began his speech by discussing ICANN's 15th Anniversary as well as his first full year as President of ICANN. He highlighted the four objectives and 16 goals that were laid out during ICANN Toronto, and spoke about the success in getting the New gTLD Program off the ground. He also defended ICANN's PDP process, saying "It works. It produces results." [2]

Mr. Chahadé continued to highlight many ICANN programs and initiatives. He drew attention to learn.icann.org. He defended ICANN against what some have called a "runaway budget" by highlighting that ICANN has worked to cut the translation costs at ICANN Meetings by hundreds of thousands of dollars. He discussed the new globalization of ICANN, mentioning new staff members in Singapore and across Africa. The President discussed ICANN's multistakeholder model and ICANNLabs, a series of web experiments aimed at broadening participation and communication within the ICANN community. He also promised that by ICANN 49 in Singapore, the ICANN.org website would have a redesign.

He closed by mentioning the Snowden revelations and explaining that ICANN was under pressure to increase their involvement in the governance of the Internet. He announced 1net, a "blank canvas" website dedicated to Internet Governance.[2]

Internet Governance

The topic of Internet Governance was prevalent at ICANN 48. In the months and weeks leading up to the conference, the Snowden revelations caused world leaders to express concern over the governance of the Internet. Notably, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff gave a U.N. speech in September 2013 condemning the NSA and proposing that the U.N. adopt policies to prevent the Internet from being used maliciously.[3] This prompted Fadi Chehadé to travel to Brazil and meet with Rousseff in order to persuade her to take a "multistakeholder" approach to Internet Governance instead.[4]

New gTLD ICANN Auctions

Although many New gTLD applicants are resolving contentions through partnerships and private auctions, the program guidebook requires public ICANN auctions to be used as a measure of last resort to resolve contention sets. Funds from these auctions will be a new source of income for ICANN, and the organization has promised that it will keep these funds separate from their operating budget and other reserves.

The debate during ICANN 48 centered around what ICANN should do with the funds from the public auctions, and determining the rules for such auctions. During the Public Forum, Cherine Chalaby led a discussion of ICANN auctions and what to do with the funds, and community members offered up some initial suggestions. These included:

  • Create a foundation to educate the public on Internet Governance.
  • That funds be managed by a community body that involves groups outside of ICANN in order to hold ICANN accountable.
  • Funds go into a reserve fund that will be used for community applications during the next gTLD expansion program.

ICANN Board members stated that they would create a document on the subject and submit it for public review so that the community could further add suggestions as to how the funds should be managed.[5]

Brazil Meeting

During the Welcome Ceremony, ICANN Chairman Steve Crocker mentioned that the Brazilian government would soon be announcing a high-level meeting in Brazil, scheduled for May 2014. It was later announced that the meeting would be named a Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance, and would be held in Sao Paulo, Brazil on April 23 and 24, 2014.[6]

An extra morning session was added the night before Nov 20th in Buenos Aires titled "ICANN Community Preparation for the Multistakeholder Meeting in Brazil". The session was led by President Chehadé and focused on the the community's input on the Brazil meeting, an explanation of 1net.org, and a discussion of an expert panel on Internet Governance that was created during ICANN 48.[7]


Name Collisions

The issue of Name Collisions had been a topic of much debate within the New gTLD Program leading up to the Buenos Aires meeting. An initial scare had many applicants thinking the entire program could be delayed indefinitely. ICANN eventually took a more nuanced stance, where some applications with a significant risk were indefinitely delayed, but the majority of string applicants could block certain SLDs that were at risk of collision and proceed towards delegation.

During ICANN 48, ICANN released its "block list" to applicants who qualified for the "Alternate Path to Delegation." 25 applicants did not receive block lists because they did not qualify for this alternate path. In total ICANN asked that 9.8 million SLDs be blocked.[8]

Key sessions

November 17

  • ALAC and Regional Leadership Working Session
  • ICANN 15th Anniversary Celebration
  • Newcomer Welcome and Information Session
  • GNSO Working Session
  • GAC Plenary

November 18

November 19

November 20

  • NomCom Public Meeting
  • ccNSO Members Meeting Day 2
  • ICANN Accountability & Transparency Metrics & Benchmarks
  • ICANN Community Preparation for the Multistakeholder Meeting in Brazil
  • DNSSEC Workshop
  • GAC Communiqué Drafting
  • Gala Night

November 21

  • Continued Operations for New gTLDs
  • Public Forum
  • Public Board Meeting[9]



ICANNWiki, Dyn, and CircleID collaborated to produce video interviews recorded on the conference floor of ICANN 48.


Flight Issues

A number of attendees' flights into Ministro Pistarini International Airport (EZE) in Buenos Aires were forced to divert to other South American airports after a local airline's plane over-ran the runway and caused a temporary closer of the entire airport on November 16, 2013. ICANN attendees reported being diverted to Santiago, Montevideo, and Rio de Janeiro, with some flights being diverted more than once.[10]