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House to Get IANA Handover Update

The House Energy & Commerce Committee's Communications Subcommittee has signaled it will be overseeing the government's handover of ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) domain naming functions under the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority to a multistakeholder model.

The subcommittee has scheduled a hearing July 8 on the handover. That follows House passage last week of a bill authored by subcommittee member John Shimkus (R-Ill), the DOTCOM Act, that required congressional oversight of the plan for the changeover.

Among those scheduled to testify are National Telecommunications & Information Association chief Larry Strickling (NTIA had been overseeing IANA) and ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade. ICANN is currently working on the transition plan.

The NTIA contract to oversee IANA expires Sept. 30, but the DOTCOM Act provides for a short-term renewal so the plan has time to be formulated and vetted by the Congress.

“Oversight and transparency are necessary parts of any proposed transition of IANA stewardship to the multi-stakeholder Internet community,” said Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.). “The House has spoken to ensure our oversight occurs before any transition is finalized. We will do our part to ensure this work stays on track and that any transition proposal preserves the open and robust internet free from international government control.”

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.