Planning for the IANA/NTIA Transition (ianaplan)

Last modified: 2016-11-15


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Registries of parameter values for use in IETF protocols are stored and maintainted for the IETF by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), and are the subject of the "IANA Considerations" section in many RFCs.

For a number of years, this IANA function has been provided by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The IETF's relationship with IANA was formalized through a Memorandum of Understanding between the IETF and ICANN codified in 2000 with the publication of RFC 2860. Over time, processes and role definitions have evolved, and have been documented in supplemental agreements.

ICANN has had a contract with the US Department of Commerce (DoC) to provide the IANA function, undertaken through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). In March of 2014, NTIA announced its intention to transition out of its current role, meaning that NTIA would not need to renew its contract with ICANN when that contract expires 30 September 2015. NTIA requested a transition proposal be prepared to outline the necessary arrangements. In the case of the elements of the IANA function concerning the IETF protocol registries, it is likely that the existing well-documented practices will continue and no or little new activity will be required.


The IANAPLAN working group is chartered to produce an IETF consensus document that describes the expected interaction between the IETF and the operator of IETF protocol parameters registries.

The system in place today for oversight of the IETF protocol registries component of the IANA function works well. As a result, minimal change in the oversight of the IETF protocol parameters registries is preferred in all cases and no change is preferred when possible. The working group will address the implications of moving the NTIA out of its current role with respect to IANA on the IETF protocol parameters registry function in a way that focuses on continuation of the current arrangements. The working group will assume the following documents continue to be in effect:

- RFC 2850
- RFC 3777 and its updates
- RFC 2860
- RFC 6220
- ICANN-IETF Supplemental Agreements (updated yearly since 2007, the 2014 version is available at

This working group is chartered solely with respect to the planning needed for the transition, and is not meant to cover other topics related to IANA. Possible improvements outside that scope will be set aside for future consideration. However, the mechanisms required to address the removal of the overarching NTIA contract may require additional documentation or agreements. The WG will identify, but not create, such required agreements.

Should proposals made by other communities regarding the transition of other IANA functions affect the IETF protocol parameter registries or the IETF, the WG may also review and comment on them.

Fully documenting the interaction between the IETF and the operator of IETF protocol parameters registries may require detailed terms of agreements or other details of procedures that are normally delegated to and handled by the IAB or IAOC. The working group will not attempt to produce or discuss documentation for these details, but will request the IAB or IAOC to provide them separately.

The WG shall seek the expertise of the IAB IANA Evolution Program to formulate its output. It is expected that members of the IAB IANA Evolution Program will actively participate in the WG.

Goals and Milestones

Sep 2015 close
May 2015 review of other transition proposals, if needed
Jan 2015 complete protocol parameters registries document

Request for Comments

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