IANA stewardship transition

The IANA stewardship transition process, which spanned over two years, concludes with the expiration of the IANA functions contract between ICANN and the US government, and the transition of the IANA functions stewardship to the global internet community. The process started in March 2014, when the US government announced its intention to delegate its oversight role to a global multistakeholder community. Starting October 2016, the IANA functions are performed by the Public Technical Identifiers (PTI), an affiliate of ICANN.

Decision to organise WSIS

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference held in November 1998 in Minneapolis puts the basis of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). Adopted at the conference, Resolution 73:
– Instructs the ITU Secretary-General ‘to place the question of holding a world summit on the information society on the agenda of the United Nations Administrative Committee on Coordination;
– Instructs the ITU Council to ‘consider and decide on the Union’s contribution to the holding of a world summit on the information society’.

Establishment of ICANN

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is established to coordinate main internet technical resources. Until September 2016, ICANN was mandated by the United States Department of Commerce to perform the IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) functions, including globally alocating Internet Protocol (IP) addresses and other numbering resources to the Regional Internet Registers (RIRs), introducing changes to the main DNS root zone file (the global Internet ‘address book’), and managing the .INT top-level domain. Starting October 2016, these functions are performed by ICANN’s affiliate Public Technical Identifiers (PTI), following the transition of the IANA functions stewardship from the US government to the global multistakeholder community.

The World Wide Web becomes public domain

In 1989, Tim Berners-Lee invents the World Wide Web (www) while working at CERN. On 30 April 1993, CERN puts the www software in the public domain, and later makes a release available with an open licence, paving the way for the web to flourish.

Establishment of IETF

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is established to coordinate the operation, management, and evolution of the internet.


The Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), developed in the 1970s, is adopted as the sole protocol standard for the US government-sponsored Advanced Research Project Agency Network (ARPANet). ARPANet evolves into what is known today as the internet.