IANA and the transition process: Presenting videos in our region


IANA and the transition process: Presenting videos in our region

By Alex Dans, ICANN Communications Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean.

The IANA functions

There was a time when all the functions currently performed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) were performed by one person: Jon Postel. Since then, the Internet has grown dramatically and the IANA functions can no longer be handled by a single person.

The IANA functions can be summarized in three areas: (1) managing the allocation of Internet number resources, (2) managing the system of domain names associated with those numbers, and (3) maintaining the registry of technical protocol parameters, all of which help to maintain a single, connected Internet.

Some background

Initially, the IANA functions were performed under a series of contracts between the United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the University of Southern California (USC) as part of a research project known as the Terranode Network. In 1998, also the year of ICANN’s creation, President Clinton transferred custody of the IANA to the new National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), an agency of the United States Department of Commerce, in order to privatize and internationalize the coordination of the Domain Name System (DNS). Three years later, ICANN took over these functions through a contract with the United States Department of Commerce.

While ICANN has been in charge of these functions since 2001, this work is made possible thanks to the collaboration with various community working groups as well as global and regional organizations. For example, with respect to number resources, ICANN assigns IP address blocks to the five Regional Internet Registries (RIR) that exist worldwide; with respect to the technical protocol parameter registry, ICANN also performs this function in coordination with the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

The transition

In March this year, the US government announced its intention to transition its stewardship role of IANA functions to the global multistakeholder community. Given that it has operated the IANA functions and coordinated the Internet Domain Name System since 1998, ICANN was asked to convene this process.

This highly complex transition process is now being discussed globally in multiple forums so that the community itself can submit its proposals. In this sense, with a focus on the region of Latin America and the Caribbean, we would like to congratulate LACNIC for having achieved concrete results and submitted an interesting proposal for the transition process.

In order to explain the IANA functions in simple terms and present the transition to those who are not familiar with the process, LACNIC and ICANN will soon launch an educational video with Spanish, English, French, and Portuguese versions. The synergies between the two organizations will allow LACNIC and ICANN to share this complex issue and explain it to the Latin American and Caribbean Internet community.

Fadi Chehadé, President and CEO of ICANN, has said it on several occasions: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” This African proverb illustrates the work that our organization is conducting with the regional and global Internet community to facilitate the discussion.

To learn more about the transition process and how to participate, follow this link: https://www.icann.org/es/stewardship

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