Next steps towards the IANA transition

By on 18 Aug 2014

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Time has flown since March, when the US Government announced its intention to transition key Internet domain name functions to the global multistakeholder community.  The IANA Coordination Group (ICG) is working now on the process that, from 30 September 2015, will determine the new stewardship arrangements for IANA.

It is up to the communities with interest in IANA functions to provide inputs to this process, which the ICG will compile into a single transition plan.  The final submission will need to be complete by around June 2015, for NTIA to make a decision before the IANA contract expires in September.

A draft outline of the work ahead has been discussed by the ICG, and is available here:


NTIAtransitiontimeline copy

This timeline is yet to be formally agreed, but the fact is that we need to work fast.  Each community, including the global RIR community, needs to decide its final proposal by around March 2015.  There is limited time and not too many opportunities available for us to discuss and complete this work.

For the APNIC community, the next major opportunity will occur in September during the APNIC 38 conference in Brisbane, Australia. On Wednesday, 17 September, there will be a consultation session to gather and discuss community views.

I do encourage you to participate in this session, in person or remotely. But most importantly, I hope you will take part in APNIC’s “IANAxfer” discussion list, which has been created for this purpose.

You can subscribe to this public mailing list, and also read the archived messages here.

Last week I was in Delhi where I assisted in a session entitled “IANA stewardship transition and the Asia Pacific community” at the APrIGF.  Participants at this session suggested the following as important topics for discussing the IANA stewardship transition:

  • What are the specific changes we expect to see after the transition?
  • What are the criteria that the NTIA will use to evaluate the transition plan?
  • How feasible is it that the transition plan will meet the US government’s conditions?

Not all of these subjects reached a conclusion during this session, but it was a good discussion.

On the first question, I mentioned that the single change that we expect after the transition, namely the end of the special role of the US government in IANA stewardship, is one that we have expected since the foundation of ICANN.   This change is not unexpected, in fact we have looked forward to this event for much of the past 15 years.

On the third question, I remarked that not all stakeholder wishes for future IANA improvements can possibly be achieved within the transition plan, so we must work hard to define those aspects that really are essential to the transition.  Future changes should not be ruled out, but should wherever possible be left to the future.

I have said more on these issues in a blog post “The IANA stewardship transition in practical pieces”.

I hope these posts are helpful for kick-starting a discussion about the transition plan, including the full range of viewpoints, in preparation for the session at APNIC 38.

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  1. Pingback: IANA session @ APNIC 38: a discussion proposal | APNIC Blog

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