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Why It Matters
The Internet is fundamentally based on the existence of open, non-proprietary standards. They are key to allowing devices, services, and applications to work together across a wide and dispersed network of networks.
You can trace the origins of standards back to the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The resulting protocols spawned the invention and development of a wealth new applications and protocols.
Some of the core groups behind the development of the standards are:
The Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) and;
These organizations are all open, transparent, and rely on a bottom-up consensus-building process to develop standards. They help make sure open standards have freely accessible specifications, are unencumbered, have open development and are continuously evolving.
The IETF also makes sure these standards are available online at no charge, thus facilitating adoption of them.
The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is an organized activity of the Internet Society. We work to facilitate the smooth operation of and growing participation in Internet standards through the IETF. We organize briefing panels at nearly all IETF meetings, and publish the IETF Journal three times a year in advance of each IETF meeting.