The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is an agency @ U.S. Government Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information that is principally responsible for advising the President on telecommunications and information policy issues.  It regulates the telecommunications industry in USA. NTIA signed contracts with ICANN to carry out the IANA Functions.

What is ICANN?

ICANN 1988 (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is the private (non-government) non-profit corporation with responsibility for IP address space allocation, protocol parameter assignment, domain name system management, and root server system management functions, the services previously performed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).

ICANN is the current operator of the IANA functions, is obligated by the NTIA agreement to carry out management of the global IP address and AS Number pools according to policies developed by the communities.

What is IANA?

The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) is a department of ICANN responsible for coordinating some of the key elements that keep the Internet running smoothly. It is a nonprofit private American corporation.  

IANA Internet coordination functions are primarily those described in a contract between ICANN and the NTIA US Government. IANA is responsible for the global coordination of the DNS Root, IP addressing, and other Internet protocol that drive the Internet

 The IANA team mission is responsible for the operational aspects of coordinating the Internet’s unique identifiers and maintaining the trust of the community to provide these services in an unbiased, responsible and effective manner.

IANA’s activities can be broadly grouped into three categories:

1- Domain Names

IANA manages the DNS Root Zone (assignments of ccTLDs and gTLDs) along with other functions such as the .int and .arpa zones.

2- Number Resources

IANA coordinates the global pool of IP and AS numbers, providing them to Regional Internet Registries.

3- Protocol Assignments

IANA is the central repository is managing the protocol name and number registries used in many Internet protocols.  


          On 14 March 2014 the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced its intent to transition stewardship of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions to the global multi-stakeholder community. NTIA asked the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), as the IANA functions contractor and global coordinator for the Domain Name System (DNS), to convene a multi-stakeholder process to develop a proposal for the transition.


What Must the Proposal to Transition NTIA’s Role Address?

NTIA specified that the transition proposal must have broad community support and meet the following principles:

1- Supports and enhances the multi-stakeholder model;

2- Maintains the security, stability and resiliency of the DNS;

3- Meets the expectations of affected parties; and,

4- Maintains the openness of the Internet.

Important note

NTIA will not accept a proposal that replaces the NTIA role with a government-led or an inter-governmental organization solution.

The U.S. NTIA has solicited a request from ICANN to propose how the NTIA should end its oversight of the IANA functions. After broad consultations, ICANN has in turn created the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG). That group solicited proposals for the three major IANA functions: names, numbers, and protocol parameters and according to the 4 pillars of NTIA mentioned above

What is the ICG?

The ICG is the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group. This group was established after the announcement by the NTIA of its intention to transfer the stewardship of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) Functions to the global multi-stakeholder community. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) then convened a multistakeholder process to develop a transition plan. The full role of the ICG is described in its charter [PDF, 45 KB]. The ICG is comprised of 30 individuals representing 13 communities. Those communities include direct and indirect stakeholders. Direct stakeholders are those with direct operational or service relationships with the IANA functions operator; that is internet names, numbers and protocol parameters. Indirect stakeholders are all the other interested and affected parties. ICG members were selected by their respective communities according to their own processes. ICG members are listed here.

What does the ICG do?

The ICG's mission is to coordinate the development of a proposal amongst the communities affected by the IANA functions. It has one deliverable which is a proposal to the U.S. Government NTIA regarding the transition of stewardship of the IANA functions to the global multi-stakeholder community. The coordination group has four main tasks:

  1. Act as liaison to all interested parties:
    1. Soliciting proposals from the operational communities
    2. Soliciting the input of the broad group of communities affected by the IANA functions
  2. Assess the outputs of the three operational communities for compatibility and interoperability
  3. Assemble a complete proposal for the transition
  4. Information sharing and public communication

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