ICANN Historical Timeline

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This is an abbreviated look at notable events, developments, documents, and activity across pre-ICANN, proto-ICANN, and ICANN history. See here for a list of people who have made significant contributions to how the Internet works.

1972

Events

  • UCLA grad student Jon Postel proposes that a "numbers czar" be appointed to keep a record of addresses on the ARPANET and guard against address collisions. The research community agrees and elects Postel to the position of internet numbers coordinator (eventually to become known as the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority).[1]

1983

Events

  • Postel officially establishes IANA

1988

Documents & RFCs

1992

Documents & RFCs

  • RFC 1358 - Original Charter of the Internet Architecture Board (the Internet Activities Board gets a new name and charter document)[3]
  • RFC 1386 - The .US Domain (Jon Postel explains structure and use of the .US ccTLD and second-level domains for states)[4]

1993

Events

In January 1993, Network Solutions enters into a five-year contract with the NSF to provide domain name registration and network number assignment services.

Documents & RFCs

  • RFC 1436 - Internet Gopher Protocol[5]
  • RFC 1527 - What Should We Plan Given the Dilemma of the Network? (Gordon Cook presents his thoughts and proposals, developed during his time with the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, on the possible regulatory and policy needs of the National Research and Education Network and the "American" internet, as they become a noncommercial part of the global internet)[6]

1994

Events

  • In March 1994, Postel publishes what will become a canonical resource for the management of (and debates regarding) the domain name system.

Documents & RFCs

  • RFC 1591 - Domain Name System Structure and Delegation

1997

Events

  • In May 1997, the ISOC and IANA form the International Ad Hoc Committee (IAHC) concerning the development of a new governance model for TLDs following the expansion and commercialization of the Internet.
  • June 1997, the Clinton administration commits to the privatization of DNS management.

Documents

1998

Events

  • In February 1998, the National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA) creates a Proposal to Improve the Technical Management of Internet Names and Addresses.
  • In September 1998, ICANN files its Articles of Incorporation with the California Secretary of State.
  • In October 1998, ICANN’s first board meeting is held in New York, at which Esther Dyson is named Chairman and Mike Roberts is designated President of ICANN.
  • In November 1998, a Memorandum of Understanding between the United States Department of Commerce and ICANN is signed.[7] Contemporaneously with the signing of the MoU, ICANN amends its Articles of Incorporation to include a broader statement of public benefit that conforms to the expectations of the MoU.
  • The U.S. Department of Commerce releases the “Management of Internet Names and Addresses” outlining the objectives of ensuring DNS stability, maintaining competition, keeping Internet Governance in the private sector, relying on bottom-up coordination, and encouraging diverse and global representation.
  • In December 1998, the University of Southern California (USC) and ICANN enter into the IANA functions transition agreement.

Documents

1999

Events

  • In March 1999,
  1. the ICANN Board adopts the Statement of Registrar Accreditation Policy for .com, .net, and .org, allowing for competition among domain name registrars for the first time ever, and establish the bylaws for the formation of the DNSO; and
  2. ICANN 1 takes place in Singapore, where the (GAC) and the RSSAC hold their inaugural meetings.
  • In October 1999,
  1. the ASO is established, and
  2. the ICANN Board approves the UDRP.

2000

Events

  • The first New gTLD Expansion Round is conducted.[8]

2002

Events

Documents

  • M. Stuart Lynn: "President's Report: ICANN -- The Case for Reform"[10]
  • ICANN Bylaws, as revised in December 2002 in response to the Evolution & Reform Process and the ERC's recommendations.

2003

Events

  • The ccNSO is created for and by ccTLD managers.
  • ICANN launches the second new gTLD expansion round, which runs until 2011 and during which .asia, .cat, .jobs, .mobi, .tel, .travel, .xxx are delegated.

2006

Events

  • ICANNWiki is founded to foster and grow knowledge and community ties among ICANN's diverse constituencies.

Documents & RFCs

2007

Events

2008

Events

2009

Events

Documents

  • "Scaling the Root: Report on the Impact on the DNS Root System of Increasing the Size and Volatility of the Root Zone"[12]

2012

  • The third round of new gTLD expansion is launched with the New gTLD Program, which runs until 2017.

2014

Events

  • The NTIA announces its intention to transition responsibility for IANA functions to the global multistakeholder community, and instructs ICANN to develop a transition plan.[13]

Documents

RFC 7282 - On Consensus and Humming in the IETF: Pete Resnick describes the process of gathering opinion and reaching "at least rough" consensus in decision making at the IETF.[14]

2017

  • ICANN and NTIA formally end their contract for the IANA functions. The transition of the IANA functions stewardship from NTIA to ICANN is complete.

References