Privatization of Domain Name System Postponed

The U.S. Department of Commerce has delayed hand-off of the Internet domain name system for at least one year.

by / August 18, 2015
Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Lawrence Strickling

The Department of Commerce National Telecommunication and Information Administration announced Monday, Aug. 17 that it plans to delay the privatization of the Internet domain name system (DNS) for at least another year.

Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Lawrence Strickling made the announcement in a NTIA blog post saying the global Internet community needs more time to complete the groundwork for the transition.

“… 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,” he wrote.

The NTIA has been the key steward of the DNS with the help of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). With the contract set to expire Sept. 30, 2015, the renewal of the technical service agreement between NTIA and ICANN signals a delay in the privatization effort.   

“After factoring in time for public comment, U.S. government evaluation and implementation of the proposals, the community estimated it could take until at least September 2016 to complete this process. In response to their feedback, we informed Congress on Friday that we plan to extend our IANA [Internet Assigned Numbers Authority] contract with ICANN for one year to September 30, 2016,” Strickling wrote. “This one-year extension will provide the community with the time it needs to finish its work. The groups are already far along in planning the IANA transition and are currently taking comments on their IANA transition proposals.”

NTIA officials originally announced their plans “transition key Internet domain name functions to the global multi-stakeholder community” in March 2014.