ICANN will continue coordinating the Internet Protocol address spaces (IPv4 and IPv6), assigning address blocks to regional Internet registries, maintaining registries of Internet protocol identifiers, and managing the top-level domain name space (DNS root zone).
The award of the contract has not been without controversy. In March this year, NTIA cancelled the request for proposal (RFP) process, stating that none of the proposals it had received, including ICANN’s, met the requirements requested by the global community. It told ICANN to come back with a better response and granted ICANN permission to continue to carry out IANA functions until then.
The cancellation was greeted with disbelief. Some speculated that it could be related to attempts by the International Telecommunication Union’s attempt to take over internet governance, or ICANN’s plan to plan to open the global top level domain space to almost any string of characters, which had attracted criticism from the NTIA.
NTIA restarted the cancelled RFP process in April, during which others were welcomed to tender in what ICANN has said was an open, competitive bid. ICANN provided NTIA with a new proposal, which it said clarified and elaborated on its previous submission.
The contract came the day after ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom announced on the ICANN blog that he would be replaced by the organisation’s chief operating officer of two years, Akram Atallah.