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What is the difference between the ALAC and At-Large? 

The ALAC itself has a limited set of members, but the Internet user community that it has emerged from and it represents -- the At-Large Community -- is much bigger and wider. The At-Large Community is consist of more than 190 ALSes with varied sizes (some ALSes have hundreds of thousands of members!) and an increasing number of individual members. 

ALSes and individual members in the wider At-Large Community are wholly independent from ICANN and can conduct a wide variety of activities not necessarily related to the ICANN mission and mandate. The ALAC is the part of global At-Large community most deeply engaged in ICANN and has the unique advisory position to advocate for the interests of individual Internet users. 

The advisory role of the ALAC gives the ALAC certain power and capability that the RALOs, ALSes, and individual members in the wider At-Large Community don’t have. For example, the ALAC is empowered to initiate a Public Comment proceeding and to request the GNSO to initiate a Policy Development Process. The formal Policy Advice from the ALAC to the ICANN Board, Staff departments, and other community groups also carries a heavier weight. 

Nonetheless, the ALAC cannot provide policy advice singlehandedly without getting inputs from the wider At-Large Community. Hence, members of the ALAC are required to speak to the RALOs about their latest policy advice development work and actively solicit feedback for the Policy Advice Statements.

The ALAC plays a leadership role in the community. Through a bottom-up, open mechanism, 10 ALAC members were selected from RALOs (the regional umbrellas of the At-Large Community) in a geographically balanced manner. Besides leading the policy advice development activities, the ALAC also establishes organization building related working groups in At-Large and its members often chair in those working groups, while RALOs provide volunteers.

Due to the advisory and leadership role that the ALAC plays, members of the ALAC are usually funded by ICANN to travel to its triannual international meetings. In addition, RALO leaders are also funded to travel to ICANN meetings. While average members of the At-Large Community do not get this travel support automatically, they are eligible to apply for ICANN programs and fundings (e.g. Fellowship, NextGen) to attend those meetings in person.