Time is Running Out: The U.S. Must Be Prepared to Renew the ICANN Contract
Once the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) expires so does its ability to ensure changes are made. This matter merits serious consideration by Congress, the NTIA, ICANN, and the multi-stakeholder community. The truncated timeline creates unnecessary pressure to make a hasty decision before all of the necessary changes will be fully implemented. The U.S. should be prepared to relieve this pressure by exercising its option to extend the contract with ICANN through September 2017. Moreover, it should not wait until the last minute when pressure will be highest to accept a partial or substandard proposal. Only after an acceptable transition proposal is offered and all the necessary reforms to ICANN are adopted and in effect should the U.S. agree to end the contract.