Internet Organizations

Last update : July 25, 2013

There are different Internet Organizations that play a key role in the evolution of the Internet by developing recommendations, standards, and technology, deploying infrastructure and services, and addressing other major issues.

  • World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is  the main international standards organization for the World Wide Web. Founded by Tim Berners-Lee at MIT in 1994 and currently headed by him, the consortium is made up of member organizations which maintain full-time staff for the purpose of working together in the development of standards for the world wide web.
  • The Internet Society (ISOC) is an international, non-profit organization founded in 1992 by Vint Cerf, Bob Kahn and Lyman Chapin to provide leadership in Internet related standards, education, and policy.
  • The Internet Architecture Board (IAB) is the committee charged with oversight of the technical and engineering development of the Internet by the ISOC. The body was originally created originally with the name Internet Configuration Control Board during 1979, it became the Internet Advisory Board during 1984 and then the Internet Activities Board during 1986. It finally became the Internet Architecture Board, under ISOC, during 1992.
  • The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) is the entity that oversees global IP address allocation, autonomous system number allocation, root zone management in the Domain Name System (DNS), media types, and other Internet Protocol-related symbols and numbers. Starting in 1988, IANA was funded by the U.S. government; ten years later the IANA function was transferred to ICANN.
  • The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), is a nonprofit private organization created in 1998, that is responsible for the coordination of the global Internet’s systems of unique identifiers and, in particular, ensuring its stable and secure operation. This work includes coordination of the Internet Protocol address spaces (IPv4 and IPv6) and assignment of address blocks to regional Internet registries.
  • The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) develops and promotes Internet standards, cooperating closely with the W3C, ISO and IEC standards bodies and dealing in particular with standards of the Internet protocol suite. It is an open standards organization, with no formal membership or membership requirements. The first IETF meeting was in 1986.
  • The Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) is a body composed of IETF chair and area directors. It provides the final technical review of Internet standards and is responsible for day-to-day management of the IETF.
  • The Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) promotes research of importance to the evolution of the Internet by creating focused, long-term research groups working on topics related to Internet protocols, applications, architecture and technology.
  • The International Electrotechnical Commission  (IEC) is a non-profit, non-governmental international standards organization that prepares and publishes International standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies – collectively known as electrotechnology. The IEC held its inaugural meeting in 1906.
  • The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an international standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations. Founded in 1947, the organization promulgates worldwide proprietary, industrial, and commercial standards.
  • The Web Science Trust (WST) is a joint effort originally started between MIT and University of Southampton to bridge and formalize the social and technical aspects of the World Wide Web.
  • The World Wide Web Foundation (Web Foundation) is an organization dedicated to the improvement and availability of the World Wide Web. The formation of the organization was announced on September 14, 2008 by Tim Berners-Lee at the Newseum (interactive museum of news and journalism) in Washington.
  • The Web Performance Optimization Foundation (WPO Foundation) (is a non-profit for web performance, with the goal to help fund open source web performance projects and public research into web performance.

Internet Hall of Fame

The Internet Hall of Fame is an annual awards program that has been established by the Internet Society in 2012 to celebrate it’s 20-year anniversary. The Internet Hall of Fame publicly recognize a distinguished and select group of visionaries, leaders and luminaries who have made significant contributions to the development and advancement of the global Internet.

The inductees are segmented in three groups : pioneers, global connectors and innovators. The Internet history revolves around four distinct aspects :

  • technological evolution (ARPANET and related technologies, current research about scaling, performance and higher-level functionalty)
  • operational aspects of a global and complex operational infrastructure
  • social aspects with a broad community of internauts working together to create and evolve the technology
  • commerzialisation aspects resulting in an extremely effective transition of reasearch results into a broadly deployed and available information infratsructure

The Internet Society convenes an Internet Hall of Fame Advisory Board of esteemed Internet industry professionals to vote on the annual inductees. Inaugural inductees were announced on April 23, 2012 at the Internet Society’s Global INET conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Internet Society is the trusted independent source for Internet information and thought leadership from around the world. With its principled vision and substantial technological foundation, the Internet Society promotes open dialogue on Internet policy, technology, and future development among users, companies, governments, and foundations. Working with its members and Chapters around the world, the Internet Society enables the continued evolution and growth of the Internet for everyone.

Internet Evolution

Last update : October 8, 2012
Where is there and how do we get there from here ? was the topic of a panel on Internet Evolution, organized by the Internet Society at IETF 81 in Quebec, Canada.

Evolution occurs as a response to a stimulus. The panel explored different paths that Internet evolution could follow:

  • Natural evolution – letting market forces prevail
  • Top-down regulatory – return to the telco regime
  • Clean slate – repealing the laws of Internet physics
  • Or ?

The following five questions have been answered by seven contributors : Kenjiro Cho, Alissa Cooper, Jon Crowcroft, Geoff Huston, Bill St. Arnaud, Joe Touch and Jonathan Zittrain.

  1. Internet and Innovation : The Internet itself was an innovation and it has served as an open platform for unprecedented innovations in networking, applications and services for years. The data provides evidence that the Internet is becoming ‘flatter’ (increasingly direct interconnection of content and consumer). Is this necessarily part of a trend towards a less-innovative platform ?
  2. P2P Traffic : Is the relative decline in P2P traffic volume indicative of the triumph of business models over technology ?
  3. Dominance of Application Protocols : What is your perception of the import of the increasing dominance of a handful of application protocols—simplification ? ossification ? something else ?
  4. Internet Evolution Trends : What do these observable trends in Internet evolution mean for the future of the Internet ?
  5. Impact on The Future of the Internet : Any other observations or interpretations of these reports in terms of impact and import for the future of the Internet that you would like to share ?

The following links provide further informations about the Internet evolution :

What will the Internet look like In 10 years ?

The Internet Society engaged in a scenario planning exercise to reveal plausible evolutions of the Internet in the future. Based upon the two questions :

  • Will the world embrace or resist the open Internet model ?
  • Will the Command and Control or the Distributed and Decentralized model be more succesful ?

These two questions defined four quadrants, which led to four very different stories about how the world might develop over the next eight to ten years :

Internet evolution scenarios

All of these stories contain some elements of the Internet of today. The challenge for everyone is to contribute to help the Internet to evolve in a direction like the scenario called The Common Pool.