It was founded in Paris in 1865 as the International Telegraph Union and became an agency of the United Nations in 1947. The ITU is based in Geneva, Switzerland and has twelve regional and area offices around the world.
The ITU currently has a membership of 193 countries and some 900 private-sector entities. Its activities touch all aspects of the ICT sector, from digital broadcasting to the Internet, and from mobile technologies to 3D TV. The ITU allocates global radio spectrum and satellite orbits, develops the technical standards that ensure networks and technologies seamlessly interconnect, and strives to improve access to ICTs to underserved communities worldwide.
ENUM is a protocol for mapping telephone numbers to Uniform Resource Identifiers (URI).
Since 2002, the RIPE NCC has provided DNS operations for the e164.arpa zone (ENUM) in accordance with the instructions from the Internet Architecture Board. This is done in cooperation with the ITU, as all requests for ENUM delegation of an E.164 country code must be evaluated by the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (ITU-T TSB).
The ITU played a major role in organising the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) events in 2003 and 2005 and in coordinating subsequent activities, including the annual WSIS Forums.
In October 2004, during the WSIS process, the Director of the ITU-TSB published a memorandum for public comment, entitled "ITU and Internet Governance” [Microsoft Word document].
The memorandum included a proposal to create a new IPv6 address space distribution process based solely on national authorities. As this proposal could have had a serious impact on Internet operators and the global Internet community, the Number Resource Organization (NRO) issued a response, detailing the flaws in the proposal and the negative impact it would have on Internet operations.
The NRO also published a white paper entitled "The Geography of Internet Addressing" [PDF] outlining the justifications for the existing Regional Internet Registry (RIR) system of Internet number resource distribution.
The ITU World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly, held in Johannesburg in 2008, produced WTSA Resolution 64, “IP address allocation and encouraging the deployment of IPv6”. This resolution was a significant recognition by the ITU of the importance of IPv6 adoption and marked an increased level of ITU activity in this area.
In 2009, the ITU Council approved a recommendation to convene a group to conduct further activities toward the implementation of WTSA Resolution 64. This group would be open to the membership of ITU-T and ITU-D. The ITU IPv6 Group met for the first time in March 2010 and again in September 2010, March 2011 and June 2012.
As a Sector Member of both the ITU-T and the ITU-D, the RIPE NCC has been involved in the ITU IPv6 Group from the outset, providing advice, feedback and statistics along with the other RIRs and members of the Internet technical community.
The ITU IPv6 Group met for the fourth time in Geneva on 12 June 2012, and considered submissions on IPv6 deployment and capacity building from Member States including the UAE, Sweden, the Czech Republic and Sudan, as well as the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT). At the conclusion of the meeting, the Group reviewed its Terms of Reference and determined that it had completed its work. The report of the meeting concluded that:
In early 2012, the RIPE NCC was granted Observer status in the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) Committee for ITU Policy (ComITU). This committee serves to organise the coordination of CEPT actions and positions in relation to various ITU activities, including the development of Common European Proposals (CEPs) in the lead-up to WCIT-12 and the revision of the ITRs.
The RIPE NCC has made the following submissions for the consideration of CEPT Member States:
On 23 September 2015, the RIPE NCC and CEPT Com-ITU signed a Letter of Understanding for ongoing cooperation and reciprocal participation.