At a standing-room-only meeting on the evening of June 21, 2015 – at the ICANN 53 global meeting in Buenos Aires – Assistant Secretary Larry Strickling, administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (“NTIA”), gave his comments on the current timeline for the transition of the IANA (i.e., technical) functions of ICANN. The bottom line is that transition will probably happen sometime in spring 2016 under the best-case scenario.
By way of background, before transition (also called “stewardship”), a number of milestones need to be achieved. The Cross-Community Working Group on Stewardship – Naming (“CWG”) needed to complete its report and have it approved, which was done on June 24. The report forms part of the larger IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (“ICG”) process. It was made clear at the other meetings here that the CWG report (part of the ICG effort) will be contingent on certain criteria being established in the parallel work of the Cross-Constituency Working Group on Accountability (“CCWG”), which has two major workstreams – one relating to the transition (stewardship) and one on more general issues. The CCWG intends to hold a face-to-face meeting in Paris in July and hopes to have its work on transition accountability completed by the ICANN 54 meeting in Dublin in October 2015. When the ICG and the CCWG have completed their reports, NTIA will need to review the completed unified proposal which, by the current timeline, could not happen before the Dublin meeting.