20150530 - I*Chairs report

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Dear colleagues,

This is an update to the community on the current discussion between the IETF and ICANN regarding the annual SLA or Supplemental Agreement. Each year, the IETF (via the IAOC) and ICANN specify a supplemental agreement to our Memorandum of Understanding, in order to ensure that any gaps or identified operational issues are addressed.

As you are aware, inspired by the request from the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG), last year we formed the IANAPLAN working group and achieved IETF consensus on the state of affairs with IANA registries published under the direction of the IETF. That consensus is captured in draft-ietf-ianaplan-icg-response-09, which was transmitted to the ICG. In that document the community sought to have some facts acknowledged as part of any IANA transition plan:

  • The protocol parameters registries are in the public domain. It is the preference of the IETF community that all relevant parties acknowledge that fact as part of the transition.
  • It is possible in the future that the operation of the protocol parameters registries may be transitioned from ICANN to subsequent operator(s). It is the preference of the IETF community that, as part of the NTIA transition, ICANN acknowledge that it will carry out the obligations established under C.7.3 and I.61 of the current IANA functions contract between ICANN and the NTIA [NTIA-Contract] to achieve a smooth transition to subsequent operator(s), should the need arise. Furthermore, in the event of a transition it is the expectation of the IETF community that ICANN, the IETF, and subsequent operator(s) will work together to minimize disruption in the use the protocol parameters registries or other resources currently located at iana.org.

Understanding this consensus, the IETF leadership have been negotiating with ICANN to include text to satisfy these points in our annual Service Level Agreement. After some iterations, we arrived at text that we think captures the IETF consensus, but ICANN has informed us that they are unable to agree to that text right now. ICANN told us that, in their opinion, agreeing to that text now would possibly put them in breach of their existing agreement with the NTIA.

It is our view that the substance of the statements above is already part of our agreement with ICANN, and that we are merely elaborating details of that existing agreement. We expect that as we continue towards the orderly winding down of NTIA's involvement in the IANA processes, our existing arrangements will be preserved, in keeping with IETF consensus.

We will of course continue to assess the situation, agreements, and next steps, as well as developments in other operational communities. We think that the existing agreement between ICANN and the IETF makes good sense, and is good for the Internet. The IETF has stated very strongly that it supports that existing agreement. That strong support is a necessary condition for success, and we shall not waver in our commitment to the IETF's continued responsible stewardship of the protocol parameters registries.

We note that the IETF community remains very satisfied with ICANN's current level of performance. The existing supplemental agreement, from last year, continues until it is replaced.

We welcome your thoughts about this situation. We will continue to use the IANAPLAN mailing list for these discussions.

Best regards,

Jari Arkko - IETF Chair

Tobias Gondrom - IAOC Chair

Andrew Sullivan - IAB Chair