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IANA Stewardship Transition at ICANN 51

23 Oct 2014

I thought it might be useful to provide a brief summary of some of the things that have happened in the past week related to the transition of the IANA Stewardship.

I was at the ICANN 51 meeting along with a number of other IETFers. We also participated in the IANA Coordination Group (ICG) meeting.

At the IETF, the IANAPLAN Working Group published a new version of draft-ietf-ianaplan-icg-response, a response to the ICG request for proposals (RFP). Very active discussion on this draft continues on the mailing list; I would like to thank everyone for attention to this important topic.

Other communities, as well, took steps towards developing their own responses to the ICG RFP. The five RIRs announced the Consolidated RIR IANA Stewardship Proposal (CRISP) team that will be responsible for consolidating IANA stewardship proposals from the five RIR communities into a single Internet numbering community proposal to be sent to the ICG. The CRISP team will work via public teleconferences and a new public mailing list.

At their meeting last week, the ICANN community held a number of sessions related to the IANA transition, perhaps the main one being the meeting on Cross Community Working Group (CWG) to Develop an IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal on Naming Related Functions. From the questions and participation in this and other sessions related to the IANA stewardship transition, it was clear to me that a significant portion of the ICANN community is very much engaged with this issue. For example, the ICANN Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) published last week a Report on the IANA Functions Contract that describes key aspects of the relationship between the NTIA and ICANN as defined by the IANA functions contract. The CWG has a big task ahead, however, and after a summer of discussing process and the creation of various groups, we are finally at a stage where everyone seems intent on getting to the substance of those discussions. The CWG will be meeting every week from now on, and it has to determine what kind of transition model it will propose. Out of the three communities involved in the transition the names community has the biggest re-organisation task ahead. And the time is short, the deadline for the first delivery of the proposal is January 15th, 2015, and the entire transition to be completed by September 30, 2015.

The ICG held sessions with the ALAC (user communities), GAC (governments), and the entire ICANN community during the week. I talked about the IETF viewpoints of the transition, which is largely that our community wants the current operational model to continue. Some of the things that came up in the discussion included accountability, our ability to deal with various forms of “capture”, whether the different communities need to employ exactly the same models in transition, and differing views about the actual stewardship that the US government has had in IANA. For IETF, I believe we have reasonable answers to various accountability and capture issues: the organisational separation between the IANA functions operator, agreements, appeals, nomcom and recall processes and so on.

The request to align IANA transition solutions comes up often, but fundamentally there is only need to align parts that interact, to ensure that, for instance, we know how to coordinate special address ranges with RIRs. The functions themselves along with the administered namespaces are very different. Just consider how different TLD and port number allocations are, for instance.

The nature of the US government stewardship continues to cause discussion as well. But again, the stewardship has been different in different areas. I would say that from an IETF perspective the stewardship has been mostly about letting the communities grow and develop their own mechanisms. By now the “child” has grown up and can make its own decisions as an adult. As it should.

Finally, the ICG met in person on the Friday of the ICANN meeting week. It was a very productive meeting, although we realise that the real work at this point is in the names, RIR, and IETF communities. The ICG works in preparation of the time when we receive proposals from these communities.

All-in-all, it has been a very active period for the IANA Stewardship Transition process. Looking ahead, the IANAPLAN WG will meet in person for the first time next month at IETF 91, among many other working groups. I’m looking forward to seeing many of you there in just three weeks!

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