History in the Making: Community Now Responsible for Managing the Internet


History in the Making: Community Now Responsible for Managing the Internet

After the transition that took place on 30 September, the Regional Internet Registry (RIR) community has taken over stewardship of the IANA functions along with other organizations.

That day marked the expiration of the contract maintained by the Department of Commerce with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organization in charge of overseeing the IANA functions, and the US government handed over management of the Internet system.

The LACNIC 26 closing ceremony coincided with this historic event. During the ceremony, LACNIC CEO Oscar Robles highlighted the fact that the global Internet community was now taking upon itself this major responsibility.

Robles reviewed the transition process, which began in March 2014 when the community started working intensely on various fronts. “On the one hand, each of the three operational communities –numbers, names and protocols– worked on a proposal which was eventually consolidated into a single community proposal,” said Robles. At the same time, every community worked to define the transparency and accountability elements that needed to be implemented prior to the transition.

According to Robles, this step represents “one of the most significant milestones in the history of the Internet, as it means that the US government, holder of the role of IANA Functions Steward, is transferring this responsibility to a diverse multistakeholder community in each of the three operational communities.”

Robles added that, since 30 September, “no individual government has a predominant role in this stewardship, as the United States once had.”

In practice, the Numbers Community will continue to work as it has done to date, as both the number resource registration (IP numbers and autonomous systems) as well as the policy development processes will continue as usual. However, in addition to supervision by the five Regional IP Address Registries (AFRINIC, APNIC, ARIN, LACNIC and RIPE NCC), the functions performed by the IANA for the Numbers Community will now be subject to a Review Committee expressly created for this purpose with participation of the communities of the five Registries.

Robles noted that these thirty months of work had ensured a smooth transition and stressed “the ability of the Numbers Community to work in a coordinated manner among the five regions and reach consensus on issues of global relevance.”

To conclude, LACNIC’ CEO congratulated all three operational communities (Numbers, Names and Protocols) for this historic achievement, “which allows us to continue working for an open, stable and secure Internet.”

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