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On 14 March 2014, the U.S. Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) made an official announcement regarding its future role in relation to the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).

Full text of the announcement is available on the NTIA website.

The NTIA announced that it intends to "transition key Internet domain name functions to the global multi-stakeholder community." It notes that:

NTIA currently contracts with ICANN to carry out the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions and has a Cooperative Agreement with Verisign under which it performs related root zone management functions. Transitioning NTIA out of its role marks the final phase of the privatization of the DNS as outlined by the U.S. Government in 1997.
The announcement also specified the method by which future IANA arrangements would be developed:

As the first step, NTIA is asking the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to convene global stakeholders to develop a proposal to transition the current role played by NTIA in the coordination of the Internet's domain name system (DNS).

NTIA has informed ICANN that it expects that in the development of the proposal, ICANN will work collaboratively with the directly affected parties, including the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), the Internet Society (ISOC), the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs), top level domain name operators, VeriSign, and other interested global stakeholders.

In potentially its final act of stewardship in this area, the NTIA will determine whether the proposal developed through this process meets the requirements laid down for the transition to proceed. As well as the multi-stakeholder process noted above, the NTIA has stipulated that the proposal should reflect the following principles:

  • Support and enhance the multistakeholder model;
  • Maintain the security, stability, and resiliency of the Internet DNS;
  • Meet the needs and expectation of the global customers and partners of the IANA services; and,
  • Maintain the openness of the Internet.

As key IANA stakeholders, it is important that the RIPE community and RIPE NCC members contribute to the development of a new IANA model. The RIPE NCC will work with the RIPE community, the RIPE NCC membership and Internet stakeholders across our service region to facilitate effective and informed input to the global process.