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IANA Transition Moves Forward

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Yesterday, the Board of Directors the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), approved the multistakeholder community’s proposal for transitioning oversight of the Internet’s addressing system from the US government to the global multistakeholder community. The Board approval followed approvals from ICANN’s chartering organizations. I want to congratulate the community for their tireless efforts in developing this proposal. The ICANN Board has sent the proposal to the National Telecommunications and Information Agency (NTIA) for their review and approval. These milestones are not only critical for the transition itself but a further endorsement of global multistakeholder Internet governance.

The proposal is comprised of two separate, but related, plans. The first part of the plan describes how the three communities of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) – Names, Numbers and Protocol Parameters – will operate and interface with ICANN directly. The second part of the plan includes an extensive set of reforms to ICANN’s governance structure to enhance the organization’s accountability to the global community. Intel has been deeply engaged in the development of the overall transition plan and we believe it meets the criteria outlined by NTIA in their announcement in 2014.

The current IANA contract between ICANN and NTIA expires September 30th. While today’s milestones are significant, we are not finished yet. The NTIA must review the proposal to ensure it meets the criteria. New agreements between ICANN and the communities must be executed and a new contract for the management of the Internet’s Root Zone must be developed, vetted by the community and executed. The cross-community Working Group responsible for developing the accountability measures must immediately begin drafting changes to ICANN’s bylaws so that the measures can be implemented. And, Congress must be given an opportunity to review the proposal.

I am confident that the community behind the incredible work to-date will succeed in completing the transition and moving us fully into 21st century Internet governance.