auDA plays major role in plans to transition stewardship of key Internet functions

Posted by Helen Hollins on 11 March 2016

Today marks a significant day in the Internet community, with the submission by Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to the U.S. Government a plan that, if approved, it will lead to a global stewardship of some of the key technical Internet functions.

"This plan is a testament to the hard work of the global Internet community and the strength of the multi-stakeholder model,” said Steve Crocker, Chair of the ICANN Board, who transmitted the plan on behalf of the global community. “The plan has now been sent to the U.S. Government for its review, and assuming it meets the necessary criteria, we will have reached an historic moment in the history of the Internet.”

ICANN have said: The plan provides a comprehensive package to transition the U.S. Government’s stewardship of these technical functions, called the IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority), which are critical to the Internet’s smooth operation. It also proposes ways to enhance ICANN’s accountability as a fully independent organisation. The transition is the final step in the long-anticipated privatisation of the Internet’s Domain Name System (DNS), first outlined when ICANN was incorporated in 1998.

The ICANN Board received the package from the community during its 55th public meeting in Morocco, and today transmitted it to the U.S. National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA).

On 14 March 2014, NTIA announced its desire to transition its stewardship of the IANA functions to the global multi-stakeholder community. The package is the result of an inclusive, global discussion amongst representatives from government, large and small business, technical experts, civil society, researchers, academics and end users (read the full release here).

Australia has been represented in this process not only by the federal Department of Communications, but also by individuals within Australia’s Internet community, including Chris Disspain, CEO of auDA.  Mr Disspain has been a member of the ICANN Board since 2011, and is a hands-on, passionate supporter of the multi-stakeholder model the proposal aims to maintain.

Mr Disspain says of this morning’s announcement by the ICANN Board, "Today is the end of two years’ hard work and commitment from auDA, to represent all Australians on a global platform, in the upholding of our firm support and belief in the multi-stakeholder model. I believe that our continued commitment to a free, open and interoperable Internet, and our ongoing active participation in ICANN, is critical for the future of Australia’s digital economy.”

Media Contact: 
Helen Hollins
General Manager, Communications