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Update on the IANA Transition

As noted in earlier discussions, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, has announced that it intends to transfer key Internet domain functions (the IANA functions) to the global multi-stakeholder community. An open process to develop a model for future IANA administration is now underway.

The RIPE NCC has published a section on its website that provides background information on the IANA functions, the role of oversight of IANA and the RIPE NCC’s relationship to IANA. The pages also detail the process for development of the future IANA model, and the opportunities for the RIPE community and RIPE NCC membership to contribute.

The RIPE NCC would like to highlight several key points to help stimulate community discussion in this area:

  • The IANA function covers three separate areas: Internet resources, domain names and protocol assignments on behalf of the IETF. The primary concern for the RIPE NCC is ensuring the continued fair, efficient and stable management of Internet number resources in any future model or arrangement.
  • The RIPE NCC and the other RIRs actually have relatively few interactions with IANA. We receive allocations of Internet number resources according to global policies developed using the same bottom-up processes as in our regional communities. To date, the U.S. Government’s oversight of IANA has never been exercised to affect IANA operations or policy development relating to Internet number resources.
  • The RIPE community and the RIPE NCC work together using a well-established model of bottom-up, open and inclusive processes. These attributes, which underpin all RIPE NCC and RIPE community activities, are essential elements of a "multi-stakeholder" model, specified by the NTIA  as a requirement for any proposal to move forward.
  • The RIRs have developed their own robust structures to allow for cooperation and coordination on a global level, most notably through the Number Resource Organization (NRO), which represents all five RIRs working cooperatively. The NRO Number Council, which is comprised of members from the five RIR communities (and which also plays the role of the ICANN Address Supporting Organization Address Council), currently provides oversight of the global policy development process as it pertains to Internet number resources.


It is important that the RIPE NCC membership and the RIPE community's voices are heard in these discussions, as key stakeholders in how the global pool of Internet number resources is managed.

Following discussion with the co-chairs of the RIPE Cooperation Working Group, we suggest that RIPE community discussion be focused in this working group, both on the mailing list and in RIPE Meeting sessions. This arrangement will allow anyone with an interest to participate or follow discussions, without the need to attend events in person. Subscribe to the RIPE Cooperation Working Group mailing list here.

At RIPE 68 in Warsaw, there will be a discussion on the future of the IANA functions in the Cooperation Working Group session on 15 May (remote participation will be available).

There will be opportunities to consider these issues in all RIPE-related venues, including ENOG, MENOG and other regional meetings. The RIPE NCC will also use its Roundtable Meetings to engage with governments and regulators on this topic.

Finally, there are channels for global discussion, including the ICANN-hosted mailing list ianatransition _at_ icann _dot_ org.

The RIPE NCC will actively participate in the global development process that is being convened by ICANN. The RIPE NCC will be informed and directed by our community and membership on the best way forward with this transition.