As an introduction, ICANN basically stands for Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. It is the supervising body that is responsible for the management of the DNS or Domain Name System. As the one in charge, ICANN has the power to oversee all domain names that were registered in order to ensure that they are all unique and not purchased by others. Aside from the management of all the registered domain names online, there are also other tasks by ICANN. It is in charge of managing the exclusive distribution of IP addresses for the domain names registered. This is carried out by working hand in hand with web hosting providers that are responsible for designating the IP addresses to their clients. ICANN also authorizes the domain name registrars. It simply means that these authorized registrars must follow the standards provided by ICANN so that clients will receive equal quality and level of assistance regardless of the registrar they will choose.

Roots of ICANN

ICANN was established back in 1988 as a non-profit corporation that has the main objective of helping preserve the security, interoperability and solidity of the Internet. As an overseeing body, ICANN is the recognized authority on domain names as well as other Internet-related tasks. The basis on why this corporation was created was to establish a central body that not only formulates Internet domain rules, policies and regulations, but also impose them. From the past until today, ICANN continues to play a vital role in the creation as well as the maintenance of the Internet. ICANN is managed by a Board of Directors which is comprised of representatives from Supporting Organizations, sub-groups that oversee specific sections of policies covered by ICANN, independent representatives chosen from a recommending committee and the President and CEO which was selected by the rest of the Board.

Supporting organizations of ICANN

At the present, there are three Supporting Organizations in ICANN.

  • The Generic Names Supporting Organization or GNSO which focuses on the policy making when it comes to generic top-level domains or gTLDs.
  • The Address Supporting Organization or ASO which works on the procedures on IP addresses.
  • The Country Code Names Supporting Organization or CCNSO which handles the policy on country code top-level domains or ccTLD.

Responsibilities of ICANN

ICANN is the supervising body that has a number of responsibilities under its belt. We will take a close look at these responsibilities.

  • ICANN is in charge of the regulation of large-scale issues that involves the overall structure and design of the Internet in order to keep the system functioning smoothly and efficiently particularly with specific domain names and registrars.
  • Regulation of the domain hierarchies, especially with the management of top level domains (TLDs) such as .com, .org and .net. ICANN also has a role in determining fresh TLDs created that include .gov, .info and .mil.
  • ICANN works hand in hand with Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). It is in charge of distributing and maintaining distinct codes as well as numbering schemes utilized in technical standards that power the Internet such as IP addressing, DNS Root and other Internet protocol resources.
  • ICANN is responsible for accrediting and supervising the domain name registrars. Due to the increasing number of domain names being registered, re-registered and expired, ICANN authorized independent organizations to become bodies that facilitate the domain name registration process for the Internet end-users.

Registration process

If you want to register a domain name under a generic top-level domain (gTLD), it is possible by using a registrar accredited by ICANN. You have to take note that there are different registrars who are accredited all over the world that can readily provide support in various languages. The staff at ICANN provides these registrars with preparation and review on their authorization applications while at the same time maintaining registrar accreditations and compliance with their obligations.