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I have just returned from Marrakech where we marked a historic milestone for the multistakeholder model of Internet governance. Following the original request from the U.S. Government, the ICANN Board transmitted to the U.S. Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) the plan to transition stewardship of the IANA functions to the Internet Community. The Plan was developed through the engagement, energy, dedication, and diligence of many, diverse people around the world. Many of you participated in important ways to reach the consensus recommendations that form the basis of a new era for the Internet Community. I applaud your work, dedication and persistence. I especially want to thank Narelle Clark and Demi Getschko, who served as the ISOC's representatives on the ICG.

The Internet Society strongly supports the plan as an important step in ensuring the continued uninterrupted operation of the global Internet.

What the community has delivered is quite remarkable. Together, we validated the process that has been at the core of the Internet’s success through the persistent commitment of the community. We produced consensus-based recommendations to ensure the continued coordination of key technical functions of the Internet. We strengthened our community’s foundation for working together in the future. We have reason to feel the pride of accomplishment.

But we are not yet done. Hard work remains ahead of us to turn the promise of the plan into reality. Service Level Agreements must be signed. Intellectual Property arrangements have to be finalized. ICANN must be responsive to its own community to ensure it continues to be a strong steward of IANA. And, of course, the proposal must successfully make its way through review by the U.S. government.

As part of that review, later this week the House of Representative’s Energy & Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on the IANA stewardship transition. People representing diverse stakeholders that participated in developing the plan have been asked to testify, including the Internet Society’s Sally Wentworth. At the same time, the NTIA is beginning its review.

In fact the plan will soon be examined by individuals in many organizations around the world. We feel confident it meets the criteria set forth by the NTIA and that it is good for the Internet and its billions of users, today and in the future. We know that the plan is stronger because of the processes through which it was developed. And, after the final acclimation in Marrakech, we trust it has broad support from the Internet community. These aspects will be extremely important in the face of the scrutiny it will—and should—receive over the next several months. Most importantly, through all of this, we must keep an eye towards completing review and implementation by the time the contract expires in September of this year.

So, while we have reached a significant milestone, we need to finish the job. We already know some of what must be done. Along the way we will discover other things we need to do. The Internet Society is committed to seeing this most important transition through to its finish. Together, with the dedication and persistence that is our hallmark, I am confident we will get there together.


Image credit: ICANN Photos on Flickr CC BY NC

Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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