The IANA Stewardship Transition – what you need to know

By on 4 Sep 2015

Category: Community

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Over the past 18 months, many in the Internet community have worked hard to complete a plan for the transition of the IANA Function away from US Government stewardship and into the hands of the broader Internet community.

On behalf of the Internet Number community, the CRISP Team developed a specific plan for transition of the IANA Numbering Functions, which now forms part of the overall transition plan for the entire IANA function (released by the ICG for public comment on 31 July).

The amount of effort that we have spent so far demonstrates clearly how interested the global community is in completing this historical process, which started with the establishment of ICANN itself, back in 1999.

But while the bottom-up efforts to produce the proposal have been outstanding so far, the transition plan is not yet complete. With this blog, I’d like to remind readers of the current state of play, and the work which remains for us in the Numbers Community.

Video available with Bahasa, Chinese, Hindi and Japanese subtitles


The Numbers Community Process

The Numbers community is one of the key operational communities called on to develop its own proposal for the IANA stewardship transition.

To achieve this, the five RIRs used existing community-driven policy making mechanisms to hold discussions at the regional level, and also to appoint members to the CRISP Team which would be charged with producing the Numbers Community plan. The CRISP team then took the output of these five discussions and produced a single proposal on behalf of our community, which was submitted to the ICG in January 2015.

In essence, the Numbers community proposal supports ICANN to continue as the IANA functions operator under a new contract signed with the five RIRs. It therefore requires no operational change to the current IANA arrangements, which have served us very well for the past 15 years.

However the proposal contains several important elements which provide for greater transparency and integrity of the IANA Numbering, and which are therefore important for our community:

  1. A new contract with ICANN in the form of a Service Level Agreement for the provision of the IANA Numbering Functions;
  2. A community-based “Review Committee” to evaluate the performance of the IANA operator; and
  3. Clarification on intellectual property issues including the use of the domain name.

While the ICG’s proposed transition plan is still under review, work has started on implementation of the proposal as it stands. A draft Service Level Agreement has been opened for two rounds of public comments and also for response from ICANN. Similarly a charter for the Review Committee has been drafted, which specifies, among other things, the composition and role of the committee.

The proposed SLA is designed to be signed by ICANN and the RIRs at any time, but to come into effect only when the transition of the IANA functions (the numbering functions specifically) actually takes place. The Review Committee is expected to be established by the end of 2015, although it will not be required to take action until after the transition.

What’s Next?

In October 2015, at ICANN 54 in Dublin, the ICG intends to post the final transition proposal, which the ICANN Board will then deliver to the NTIA. The NTIA review and evaluation phase should take 4-5 months, including a likely 30-day legislative review by the U.S. Congress.

Implementation of the ICG proposal, including necessary changes in ICANN accountability mechanisms, will be ongoing during this period, so that, when final sign off from the U.S. government is received, the final transfer of IANA stewardship can take place smoothly and without undue delay.

Public Support Needed

Over the next few months our community will have its last opportunities for input, and positive feedback will be very important in demonstrating Internet community support for this process.

Here are some of the ways you can express this support:

  1. The CRISP team is seeking community response to its statement on the ICG plan. The CRISP statement provides an excellent summary of the ICG proposal and how it satisfies the expectations expressed by the Numbers community.
  2. The NRO has also recently called for community support of the ICG proposals.
  3. The IANA session at APNIC 40 will offer an opportunity to review and discuss the transition plan, ahead of the September 8 deadline for public comment. All are welcome to participate in this session in Jakarta (by remote participation if not in person), and to express their views.
  4. Send an email to the ICG to express your support for the ICG’s transition proposal.

Thank you to all members of the community who have participated so far, and those who are able to express their support for the transition plan.

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The views expressed by the authors of this blog are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of APNIC. Please note a Code of Conduct applies to this blog.

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