Public Technical Identifiers

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Type: 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
Founded: 2016
Headquarters: 12025 Waterfront Drive, Suite 300
Los Angeles, CA 90094-2536
Country: USA

The Public Technical Identifiers (PTI) is the organization responsible for the operation of the IANA Functions, which primarily includes coordinating the Internet's unique identifiers.[1] The PTI is an affiliate of ICANN, with ICANN being the sole member.[2]

The PTI was founded in August 2016 as part of the implementation of the IANA Stewardship Transition. It's formation was designed to meet the ICG's recommendation to form a new legal entity to perform the IANA Functions, which was included in the proposal submitted to the NTIA on 10 March 2016.[2] [3] It began performing the IANA Functions on behalf of ICANN in October 2016, immediately after the IANA function contract with the NTIA expired.[4]

Mission Statement

PTI is responsible for the operational aspects of coordinating the Internet’s unique identifiers and maintaining the trust of the community to provide these services in an unbiased, responsible and effective manner.[5]
From 2018 to 2020, the PTI Board worked closely with IANA staff and ICANN org and community to develop an inaugural strategic plan for July 2020 to June 2024. It serves as a roadmap for the continued operational success and improvement of PTI's performance of the IANA functions. In the first strategic plan, the following five objectives were developed, focusing on trust, security, service delivery, operational excellence, and governance:

  1. Maintain stakeholders' trust that IANA is the proper home for enabling global interoperability through unique identifier coordination.
  2. Monitor and adapt to security threats and ensure resilient and secure IANA operations.
  3. Continue to drive the implementation of operational initiatives to enhance the delivery of services based on the needs of the IANA customer.
  4. Monitor the delivery and performance of the IANA functions to achieve operational excellence.
  5. Support ICANN org in its governance efforts to sustain and improve openness, inclusivity, accountability, and transparency.

The strategic plan outlines how these objectives will be achieved, targeted outcomes, risks, and mitigations.[6]


On 14 March 2014, the NTIA announced that it intended to relinquish its oversight of the IANA functions in favor of the global multistakeholder community and instructed the community to develop a proposal for the transition.[7] During the development of this proposal, ICANN Accountability became an important issue. Prior to the transition, IANA was an internal department within ICANN that acted as the IANA functions operator (IFO). In order to establish a clearer separation between the technical and policy making functions, the proposal submitted by the ICG recommended that a separate legal entity take over the role of IFO. At the time this was referred to as Post-Transition IANA, but later became known as Public Technical Identifiers, both of which share the acronym PTI. The CWG-Stewardship recommended creating PTI as a separate legal entity to allow the possibility of separation from ICANN in the future and to allow for ICANN and PTI to enter into a contract.[8]

PTI Directors

Five members comprise the PTI board of directors. Together, they should represent diverse regions and understand the operation of generic top-level domain registries and registrars, country code top-level domain name registries, IP address registries, Internet technical standards and protocols, and policy implementation procedures. Three of its members must be employed by ICANN or PTI and have been nominated by a member, and two persons must be employed by neither ICANN nor PTI; they have to be nominated by ICANN’s NomCom. No official of a national government or a multinational entity established by treaty may serve as a PTI Director. No person who serves on any Supporting Organization Council or Advisory Committee shall simultaneously serve as a PTI Director. [9]