Many Internet Society Members and Chapters are engaged in the ICANN community so the ICANN 49 meeting in Singapore this week was a wonderful opportunity to meet many of them in person. The ISOC@ICANN event, which also included remote participants, brought us together to discuss the Internet and its future. In-person participants included Chapter leaders from the region and around the world, several members of the Internet Society Board of Trustees, as well as Jari Arkko, chair of the Internet Engineering Task Force.
The ICANN 49 meeting followed just more than a week after the U.S. Government’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) publicly asked ICANN to convene global stakeholders to develop a plan for transitioning the current role played by NTIA in the coordination of shared Internet resources through the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). At the meeting, ICANN officially kicked off discussions on “a plan for a plan”—that is, how to organize a process for the multistakeholder community to develop a plan for the evolution of IANA. ICANN also presented an initial timeline for next steps.
Importantly, the NTIA announcement stated that any proposed plan must “support and enhance the multistakeholder model”. Advancing the multistakeholder model is a key priority for the Internet Society. As we look ahead to forging consensus on a true multistakeholder approach to the administration of the technical functions of the Internet, we must also ensure the inclusive, bottom-up multistakeholder model continues to thrive more broadly across the Internet ecosystem.
This is a pivotal moment in the history of the Internet. Discussion, dialogue, and debate are necessary to get a better grasp of the opportunities and challenges we face in the evolution of IANA. To this end, we have established a discussion list (firstname.lastname@example.org) and invite you to subscribe. We plan to provide updates on the process convened by ICANN, and other developments around the IANA evolution.
I look forward to continuing our dialogue over the next few months.