Since the news broke over the weekend that the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) had cancelled the request for proposals (RFP) for the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) contract, FairWinds has received many inquiries from brand owners wanting to know how the cancellation of the RFP—and the NTIA’s implied rebuff of ICANN—will impact the Internet and brands’ digital strategies.
In the short term, the NTIA’s decision will have no impact on the Internet whatsoever because, along with its cancellation of the RFP, the NTIA has extended ICANN’s current contract through September 2012. If the IANA contract ends up being awarded to an organization other than ICANN at some point in the future, an unlikely, but not impossible scenario, that entity will likely serve as a check on the technical feasibility of ICANN’s policy-making powers. While this scenario could potentially shape Internet policy creation in the future, brands and Internet users are not likely to feel the effects any time soon.
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