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IANA Stewardship Transition & Year End

18 December 2015

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This past year has been busy for the community on all the transition related work. It has been filled with many ups and downs, good moments and challenging ones, and a year of incredible work, compromise, negotiation and collaboration among all stakeholders. With the end of the year only days away, it's a good opportunity to reflect on all that has been accomplished and consider what's in store for the year ahead.

In March 2014, we began the work of facilitating the IANA Stewardship transition process, working with the community to ensure it had what it needed to conduct its work. Earlier this year, in May 2015, NTIA reached out to the communities working on the transition proposal to ask how much time they thought they would need to finalize and implement their proposals. Based on the community's feedback, NTIA announced the contract extension in August from 30 September 2015 to 30 September 2016, a period of time that includes the NTIA review and approval process and the implementation forecasts submitted by the community. Secretary Strickling has emphasized [PDF, 183 KB] the timing by which NTIA must receive the final proposals to allow sufficient time on their part. Working backwards from September 2016, and taking into consideration the NTIA review and the implementation time, the community has been working tirelessly to finalize their proposals in January.

Also over the past few months, our implementation team, led by Akram Atallah, President, Global Domains Division, began administrative preparation for the necessary implementation actions, including identifying projects based on the current proposals, creating high-level timelines and engaging with the community to better understand their reporting and oversight needs. As communicated to the community, we estimate implementation to take a minimum of four months. In collaboration with the community we hold monthly calls regarding any expected changes to the community timelines. This provides a useful opportunity for the community working together to keep each other appraised of how any of their work may impact the community-established timeline.

After all the progress at ICANN54, both the ICG and the CCWG-Accountability have noted their expected time frames. The ICG finalized its work at ICANN54 in Dublin, and provided a status update and proposal document shortly after the meeting concluded. The group awaits confirmation from CWG-Stewardship that its requirements have been met by the CCWG-Accountability, who laid out a rigorous timeline to submit its Work Stream 1 Recommendations at the end of January 2016, which included development of a new Third Draft Proposal, public comment period and Chartering Organization approval.

The Board submitted initial thinking based on the summary report, and have already submitted their full public comments to help meet the timeline, and the Chartering Organizations and many members of the community have been working diligently to get feedback in as soon as reasonably possible. While keeping the CCWG-Accountability busy through January, the goals set out by the CCWG-Accountability balance the various timeline constraints, both inside and outside of the community.

However, while timeline concerns should continue to be addressed within the CCWG-Accountability, we cannot risk the ability of ICANN to effectively do its job on Internet identifiers for the sake of meeting that timeline. Staff will continue to do everything we can to help the CCWG-Accountability complete its work in time for NTIA to make a decision this year.

What will the next year bring? The community's work reaching the next stages will be underway, and we look forward to supporting the community and its work. We want to be clear that as the CCWG-Accountability weighs the input from this public comment period, we are supportive of the timeline the community lays out both from a staffing and a resource perspective.

As many, including Steve and Fadi have said before, it is more important to get this done right than to get it done quickly, while considering all the interdependencies including the U.S. and NTIA context. For example, the U.S. Congress just passed a 2,009-page Omnibus spending bill that limits NTIA's ability to use funds to relinquish the IANA functions contract before 30 September 2016 (the final day of the current contract term), and we need to remain aware of this, but not let it derail or drive our process.

We thank the CCWG-Accountability for their tremendous effort to meet this conclusion in time for a transition in 2016. I look forward to collaborating constructively with the community in whatever they need, and remain confident we will reach conclusion on the transition and achieve this historical endeavor together.


Theresa Swinehart

Theresa Swinehart

SVP, Global Domains & Strategy