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Technology 3 February 2014

Who Makes the Internet Work: The Internet Ecosystem

Our Internet Ecosystem

The “Internet Ecosystem” is a term used to describe the organizations and communities that help the Internet work and evolve.

These organizations share common values for the open development of the Internet.

The Internet Ecosystem term implies that the rapid and continued development and adoption of Internet technologies can be attributed to the involvement of a broad range of actors; open, transparent, and collaborative processes; and the use of products and infrastructure with dispersed ownership and control.

Organizations that make up the Internet Ecosystem include:

Technologists, engineers, architects, creatives, organizations such as the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) who help coordinate and implement open standards.

Global and local Organizations that manage resources for global addressing capabilities such as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), including its operation of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) function, Regional Internet Registries (RIR), and Domain Name Registries and Registrars.

Operators, engineers, and vendors that provide network infrastructure services such as Domain Name Service (DNS) providers, network operators, and Internet Exchange Points (IXPs)

Internet Users who use the Internet to communicate with each other and offer services

Educators that teach others and build capacity for developing and using Internet technologies, such as multilateral organizations, educational institutions, and governmental agencies

Policy and Decision Makers that provide local and global policy development and governance.

The paper and documents available from this page offers a brief introduction to some of the Internet organizations and processes that shape naming and addressing, shared global services and operations, and open standards development in the Internet Ecosystem.

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Related resources

Policy Brief: Internet Governance
Internet Governance30 October 2015

Policy Brief: Internet Governance

The term Internet governance refers to the processes that impact how the Internet is managed. The historic and future success of the Internet as an open and trusted platform for innovation and empowerment depends on a decentralized, collaborative, and multistakeholder approach to Internet governance.

A policy framework for an open and trusted Internet
Trust22 June 2016

A policy framework for an open and trusted Internet

This policy framework provides an approach for addressing the complexities of building trust in an open environment such as the Internet.

Policy Brief: Open Internet Standards
Open Internet Standards30 October 2015

Policy Brief: Open Internet Standards

Open Internet standards are a foundation of the Internet, allowing anyone to set up a new online service and make it available to the rest of the Internet without requiring permission from anyone else. Broad, multistakeholder participation in Internet standards processes and recognition of open standards by governmental and regulatory bodies are important for the continued growth and evolution of the Internet.

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