By Leslie Daigle, Internet Society Chief Internet Technology Officer
I am very pleased to share the news that NBCUniversal and Comcast have announced today a new strategic sponsorship agreement, including a commitment to jointly host three Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) meetings over the next nine years. In addition, the companies have agreed to maintain a platinum-level organizational sponsorship, the highest level of support available, for the next nine years as well. The agreement also gives the companies a framework for providing additional sponsorship for Internet Society and IETF activities as the organizations and relationships evolve over that time.
The IETF is the Internet’s premier technical standards body, responsible for developing the standards that are foundational to the global Internet. These include email, instant messaging, VoIP, and IPv6, as well as standards related to the next steps of the Internet’s evolution such as the Internet of Things, WebRTC and improved security protocols. The Internet Society is proud to be the organizational home of the IETF.
This sponsorship agreement is yet another example of a long history of commitment these organizations have shown the IETF and the Internet Society. In fact, the two organizations have provided significant sponsorship for 12 of the last 19 IETF meetings. Both are also Platinum sponsors of the Internet Society and have provided significant and varied additional support to the organization—from sponsorship to committee membership.
We are also greatly appreciative of their continued encouragement of others in their industry to join and support the Internet Society financially and to participate in the IETF. Participation in the IETF by network operators like Comcast is especially important, as their perspectives and contributions ensure the development of successful protocols—which inline with the IETF’s mantra of “running code” is measured by breadth of deployment. Comcast, for example, has become a leader in the deployment of IPv6 with over 24% of their customers having IPv6 service.
The long-term support by both Comcast and NBCUniversal is a significant addition to the support of open standards, which are key to the continued growth and evolution of Internet, and a foundation for the future of the IETF and the Internet Society.