IGC Backs Domain Name Hand-Off

After reviewing the National Telecommunications & Information Administration's plan to transition stewardship of the IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority), which oversees domain naming conventions, from the U.S. to a multistakeholder, the Internet Governance Coalition says it will be "good for America, good for American business, good for the Internet and good for the world."

That is according to the prepared testimony of David Gross, scheduled to appear on behalf of IGC at a Hill hearing March 17 on the hand-off.

IGC members include AT&T, Comcast NBCUniversal, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Disney Company, Time Warner Cable, Twenty-First Century Fox and Verizon.

Gross says the plan must adopted in tandem with "associated, new accountability processes" and that the U.S. should be an active stakeholder in the new multistakeholder governance regime.

The NTIA has said it hopes to have a decision by June on whether it approves of the plan.

The NTIA currently oversees IANA under a contract that was to have expired Sept. 30, 2015, but was extended a year -- with an option to extend it three more years -- because the plan was not yet ready. In 2014, NTIA concluded that no single nation, including the U.S., should be overseeing domain names for the Internet and set the transition in motion.

For its part, the coalition says: "Our independent conclusion is that the proposals approved by the ICANN Board meet the conditions set forth by NTIA, and that these proposals will be instrumental to ensuring the ongoing stability and reliability of the Internet as it continues to help the world’s people economically, socially and culturally."

John Eggerton

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.