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The IETF is the premier Internet standards organization. It follows open and well-documented processes for setting these standards. Once published, those standards are made freely available.

Improving existing standards and creating, implementing, and deploying new standards is an ongoing effort. The IETF's mission is to produce high quality, relevant technical documents that describe these voluntary standards. IETF working groups are the primary mechanism for development of IETF specifications and guidelines.

  • Internet standards process

    The process of creating a standard is straightforward: a specification undergoes a period of development and several iterations of review by the Internet community and revision based upon experience.

  • Guide to IETF Working Groups

    Working Groups (WGs) are the primary mechanism for development of IETF specifications and guidelines, many of which are intended to be standards or recommendations.

  • Birds of a Feather

    Birds of a Feather sessions (BOFs) are initial discussions about a particular topic of interest to the IETF community. BOFs are usually held at IETF meetings, and requests to hold a BOF must be made significantly in advance of the meeting.

  • Protocol registries (IANA)

    The global coordination of the DNS Root, IP addressing, and other Internet protocol resources is performed as the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions.

  • Intellectual property rights

    All IETF standards are freely available to view and read, and generally free to implement by anyone without permission or payment.

  • Directorates and teams

    IETF Directorates, comprised of experienced IETF participants, often serve as advisory groups for IETF work.

  • About RFCs

    RFC documents contain technical specifications and organizational notes for the Internet and are the core output of the IETF.

  • Publishing and accessing RFCs

    Internet-Drafts that have successfully completed the IETF review process are submitted to the RFC Editor for publication.

  • The IETF process: an informal guide

    This informal guide to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standards process aims to assist IETF participants by providing an introduction to the variety of documents that describe it, as well as related groups and processes.

  • Proposing new work

    Any IETF participant can propose new work, but in order for new work to be chartered, some preparation is necessary.