Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)

Definition of Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in The Network Encyclopedia.

What is ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers)?

A nonprofit corporation that will take over the functions of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) and some other Internet-management organizations.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will be responsible for such functions as:

  • Allocating portions of the IP address space
  • Managing the Domain Name System (DNS), including developing new top-level domains and managing root name servers
  • Assigning Internet Protocol (IP) parameters

Until now, the U.S. company Network Solutions has exclusively managed the registration of domain names and has maintained the DNS database. ICANN will open up the process and allow competition in the DNS registration arena by creating guidelines for determining the following:

  • Who can function as a domain name registry
  • Policies on fees and privacy rights for domain name registries
  • How disputes will be resolved between domain name registries
  • What new top-level domain names will be allowed

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