http://www.w3.org/ -- 15 July 1999 -- The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has joined in the creation of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Protocol Support Organization. Other founding organizations include the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).
According to Daniel Weitzner, W3C Technology and Society Domain Leader, the purpose of the Protocol Support Organization (PSO) is to provide technical and architectural advice to ICANN on the management of the Domain Name System (DNS) and other core Internet facilities. In addition to this advisory role, the PSO will name three members of the ICANN Board of Directors.
The Web's addressing scheme (URIs) depends on domain naming schemes, the area under ICANN's stewardship. The success of ICANN is critical to the integrity of the Web as a universal information space. As a result, W3C has been actively involved in the formation of the Protocol Support Organization and has followed the progress of ICANN closely.
The creation of the Protocol Support Organization where many international standards development organizations are coming together successfully demonstrates how the cooperative model for Internet and Web development works, and bears similarities to the consensus-building approach of W3C.
W3C looks forward to working with ETSI, ITU, and the IETF to ensure that the ICANN framework supports the open, dynamic, and decentralized standards development environment that has been critical to the growth of the Internet and the Web.
The W3C was created to lead the Web to its full potential by developing common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its interoperability. It is an international industry consortium jointly run by the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science (MIT LCS) in the USA, the National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA) in France and Keio University in Japan. Services provided by the Consortium include: a repository of information about the World Wide Web for developers and users, reference code implementations to embody and promote standards, and various prototype and sample applications to demonstrate use of new technology. To date, over 340 organizations are Members of the Consortium.