This public comment proceeding seeks community input on the proposed IANA Naming Function Agreement. In order to reflect the recommendations contained in the proposal by the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) as provided to the ICANN Board and transmitted to NTIA on 10 March 2016, ICANN must incorporate an affiliate referred to as PTI, and put in place an agreement between ICANN and PTI granting PTI the right to perform the IANA naming function.
Any interested party may review and provide feedback on the draft PTI Bylaws during the public comment period. The comments will be analyzed to ensure alignment with the ICG proposal and ICANN Bylaws, and incorporated for the ICANN and PTI Boards’ consideration and approval.
Section I: Description and Explanation
In the ICG proposal, the naming community recommended that a new legal entity referred to as PTI be formed, and an agreement is put in place between ICANN and PTI to grant PTI the right to perform the IANA naming function. The domain name community provided a draft term sheet in the ICG proposal and well as a listing of all provisions recommended to be carried over from the IANA Functions Contract. This term sheet and carry-over identification were used by ICANN as a base to draft the proposed Naming Function Agreement.
As per the requirements of the domain name community, the Agreement will contain Service Level Expectations (SLEs) for the performance of the IANA naming function. The SLEs design team within the CWG-Stewardship and ICANN have agreed on thresholds for the SLEs and they are being presented to the CWG-Stewardship for sign-off. Those interested are encouraged to participate in CWG-Stewardship discussions and provide input. Once the CWG-Stewardship signs off on the SLEs, they will be incorporated into Annex A of the Agreement.
The ICG proposal was developed through public processes, including multiple opportunities for public comment. All implementation planning efforts can be tracked at https://www.icann.org/stewardship-implementation. The proposed Naming Function Agreement incorporates the necessary recommendations from the naming community in the ICG proposal as well as the relevant provisions from the ICANN Bylaws. Because this proposed Naming Function Agreement is drafted to the publicly vetted proposal, this comment period is designed to solicit inputs from the broader community on how the proposal and ICANN Bylaws requirements were brought into the proposed Naming Function Agreement and if there are areas seen as inconsistent with the ICG proposal or ICANN Bylaws. Of note, the CWG-Stewardship and the independent counsel retained to advise the CWG-Stewardship have reviewed a draft of the Naming Function Agreement and provided feedback, which has been incorporated into this proposed Naming Function Agreement that is being published for public comment. This public comment period is not intended to be a forum for the reconsideration of the ICG proposal.
Section II: Background
The IANA Stewardship Transition
For almost two decades, ICANN has performed the IANA functions under a zero-dollar contract with the U.S. Government, implementing policies developed by the multistakeholder community. The U.S. Government always envisioned its role as steward of the IANA functions as temporary, and, in March 2014, announced its intention to transition that stewardship to the global multistakeholder community. This transition will not affect how the identifiers are coordinated nor will it affect the functionality of the Internet or our ability to access it. In fact, the transition is nothing more than the final step in an 18-year process to privatize the management of the IANA functions.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) asked ICANN to convene an inclusive, global discussion that involved the full range of stakeholders to collectively develop a proposal for the transition. NTIA stated that the transition proposal must have broad community support and meet the following criteria:
- Support and enhance the multistakeholder model;
- Maintain the security, stability, and resiliency of the Internet DNS;
- Meet the needs and expectations of the global customers and partners of the IANA services; and,
- Maintain the openness of the Internet.
NTIA also specified that it would not accept a proposal that replaces NTIA's role with a government-led or intergovernmental organization solution.
Developing the Community Proposals
Two sets of recommendations comprise the package provided to the ICANN Board for the IANA Stewardship Transition. One set of recommendations involved the proposal from the direct operational customers of the IANA functions. This proposal was prepared by the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG). The ICG, comprised of thirty individuals, representing the broad range of Internet stakeholder interests, were nominated by their respective communities. The ICG assembled input from three global multistakeholder communities with direct operational relationships with the IANA functions to develop a proposal to transition NTIA's stewardship of the IANA functions.
- Read the final ICG proposal here [PDF, 2.31 MB].
The other set of recommendations related to enhancing ICANN Accountability in relation to the IANA Stewardship Transition. This proposal was prepared by the Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (CCWG-Accountability), made up of members from ICANN's Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees, and over 200 participants, developed a separate proposal for enhancing ICANN's accountability in light of the changing historical relationship with the U.S. Government. Together with ICANN's existing structures, the group recommended mechanisms to ensure ICANN remains accountable to the global Internet community.
- Read the final CCWG-Accountability proposal here [PDF, 6.02 MB].
Proposals Delivery and NTIA’s Report
On March 10, 2016, the ICANN Board of Directors transmitted the IANA Stewardship Transition and Accountability Proposals to NTIA for its review and approval.
On 9 June, NTIA announced “that the proposal developed by the global Internet multistakeholder community meets the criteria NTIA outlined in March 2014 when it stated its intent to transition the U.S. Government’s stewardship role for the Internet domain name system (DNS) technical functions, known as the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions.”
Other related materials
ICANN’s implementation planning efforts based on requirements of the ICG and CCWG-Accountability proposals can be tracked at https://www.icann.org/stewardship-implementation.
Section III: Relevant Resources
- Proposed IANA Naming Function Agreement [PDF, 290 KB]
Section IV: Additional Information
Report and Supporting Documents
- Report [PDF, 500 KB]
- 15 September 2016 Revised Naming Function Agreement to Address Comments [PDF, 292 KB]