US renews ICANN’s contract to run Internet naming functions

Posted On July 3, 2012
In Governance of Cyberspace / Reply

The US Department of Commerce has renewed for 5 years ICANN’s contract to administer the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions.

The IANA functions to be discharged by ICANN include:

  • the coordination of the assignment of technical Internet protocol parameters;
  • the administration of certain responsibilities associated with the Internet DNS root zone management;
  • the allocation of Internet numbering resources; and
  • other services related to the management of the ARPA and INT top-level domains.

In March this year, the US government cancelled its Request for Proposal to run the IANA functions, explaining it had “received no proposals that met the requirements requested by the global community”. In doing so, it issued a clear rejection to the bid by ICANN to continue its control of the naming functions of the domain name system.

According to the Department’s announcement, it has added new requirements to ICANN’s obligations, including:

  • a clear separation between the policy development associated with the IANA services, and implementation by the IANA functions contractor;
  • a robust company-wide conflict of interest policy;
  • a heightened respect for local national law; and
  • a series of consultation and reporting requirements to increase transparency and accountability

The current IANA contract held by ICANN expires on 30 September 2012. The new contract will run from 1 October 2012 to 30 September 2015, and has two 2-year option periods, for a total contract period of seven years.

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