Yesterday, August 17, Larry Strickling confirmed what many have long expected: the core Internet “IANA functions” will not be transitioned away from US government control anytime soon.
“When we announced our intent in March 2014 to complete the privatization of the DNS, we noted that the base period of our contract with ICANN to perform technical functions related to the DNS, known as the IANA functions, expired on September 30, 2015,” the US Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information said in a statement released yesterday. “However, it has become increasingly apparent over the last few months that the community needs time to complete its work, have the plan reviewed by the U.S. Government and then implement it if it is approved.”
Because the community groups tasked with producing a suitable transition plan have not been able to do so in the time given them, NTIA was left with no choice.
“In response to their feedback, we informed Congress on Friday that we plan to extend our IANA contract with ICANN for one year to September 30, 2016,” Strickling explained.
But the US may remain in control of the Internet root for a lot longer than that. In the US, political pressure against the proposed transition to a more international, multistakeholder and non-governmental management of the root has been building up.
So has resentment at ICANN’s perceived attempts to place itself at the center of whatever new governance solution was enacted.
“Beyond 2016, we have options to extend the contract for up to three additional years if needed,” added Strickling in a clear warning that his government is not prepared to rush into a half-baked solution.