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Internet Governance 9 June 2016

Important next step in IANA Stewardship Transition: NTIA says proposal meets criteria

Kathryn Brown
By Kathryn BrownFormer President / CEO

Today, the global Internet community reached an important milestone. The US Department of Commerce National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) announced that the community-developed proposal to transition the stewardship of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions meets the criteria it set out in March 2014. The NTIA specifically noted that the proposal:

  • Supports and enhances the multistakeholder model;
  • Maintains the security, stability, and resiliency of the Internet DNS;
  • Meets the needs and expectations of the global customers and partners of the IANA services; and,
  • Maintains the openness of the Internet.

NTIA further specified that it would not accept a proposal that replaces its role with a government-led or intergovernmental organization solution.

The announcement comes after a thorough, 90-day review. It reaffirms the value and power of the multistakeholder bottom-up process. Importantly, it puts to rest any concern about capture or control of IANA by any one stakeholder. In the transition proposal, no single party has undue control, and there are protocols in place to prevent any individual, organization or government from seizing jurisdiction or excluding others from the stewardship process.

Today’s announcement proves one additional thing: when presented with a common goal, the multistakeholder model can deliver robust solutions to practical questions facing the Internet. The open, inclusive, and consensus-driven processes by which the IANA Stewardship Transition proposal was developed ensured the plan was informed by the operational realities—and has laid the foundation for its successful implementation. The Internet community worked collaboratively towards a shared goal of creating and implementing a plan that would allow the Internet to continue to function in an open, secure and reliable manner.

Of course, the operational communities will continue working towards finalizing all of the implementation details before the IANA contract expires at the end of September. Over the past several months, since the proposal was submitted, the hard work of developing the transition plan has been followed by more hard work to make it a reality. And through this work, the operational communities have demonstrated they are ready to take on the responsibility of stewarding the IANA functions. We are confident in the integrity of the plan and that all final details will be completed on time.

I believe in the plan’s ability to serve the broad interests of Internet users around the world, and in the operational communities’ talent to deliver on the plan’s promise. I am heartened by the process by which the plan was developed and the demonstrated commitment to see it through. And, I am committed to continue supporting the efforts of everyone involved working towards an Internet of opportunity for all.


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