The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) is the entity responsible for coordinating some of the key elements that keep the Internet running smoothly. Whilst the Internet is renowned for being a worldwide network free from central coordination, there is a technical need for some key parts of the Internet to be globally coordinated, and this coordination role is undertaken by IANA.
- manages the root zone of the Domain Names System (DNS) Root Zone, through assigning the operators of generic top-level domains (gTLDs such as .com and .org) and country code top level domains (ccTLDs, such as .uk and .cn), and maintaining their technical and administrative details;
- ensures management for and operates the .int and .arpa domains;
- coordinates allocations from the global Internet Protocol (IP) and Autonomous System (AS) number spaces, such as those made to Regional Internet Registries; and
- functions as central repository for protocol name and number registries used in many Internet protocols.
As of 1 October 2016, the IANA functions are provided by the Public Technical Identifiers (PTI), an affiliate of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).