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RIPE NCC and CENTR Hold Joint Meeting With Governments

roundtable meeting internet governance itu iana stewardship transition news

The meeting was part of the CENTR General Assembly and was held adjacent to a meeting of the European Commission High Level Group on Internet Governance, attracting approximately 100 representatives from governments, industry and the Internet technical community.

Dominating the agenda was a discussion of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) stewardship transition process that is currently ongoing. Paul Rendek, RIPE NCC Director of External Relations, participated in a panel with Nominet's Martin Boyle and Afnic's Mathieu Weill, chaired by Peter Vergote, Chairman of the CENTR Board of Directors. This panel addressed the discussion process currently underway in the RIPE and TLD communities regarding both the IANA stewardship and ICANN accountability.

The RIPE NCC presentation described the relationship between the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) and IANA, the model of regional Internet number policy development, efforts to document the RIRs' accountability to their stakeholders, the discussion of IANA stewardship in the RIPE community, and some of the key principles that have emerged from that discussion. These principles include a preference for minimal operational change and to build on existing structures and processes to formalise the RIR communities' role as stewards of global Internet number registration.

The panel was followed by vibrant discussion, with many governments and other attendees contributing. Many expressed concern about the timeline leading up to the expiration of the current contract in September 2015, and the challenge of reaching an agreement on a proposal for future IANA oversight upon which all affected communities can agree.

RIPE NCC Chief Scientist Daniel Karrenberg was among those who stressed the importance of early and effective communication between all parties to assure the best chance of a widely accepted outcome to the process. Several governments also suggested the possibility of a neutral third-party assuming the oversight role currently held by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). Others noted that such an arrangement would be contrary to preferences already expressed in the RIR and Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) communities.

The meeting also included discussion of upcoming Internet governance events, particularly the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary 2014 (PP14). Chris Buckridge presented on the RIPE NCC's priorities going into this event, and the focus on providing expert technical advice to ITU Member States, particularly when discussions touch on issues such as IP address registration, allocation and policy-making.

Presentation slides delivered by the RIPE NCC are available online.

The next RIPE NCC Roundtable Meeting for Governments and Regulators will be held in early 2015, with details to be announced closer to the event itself.