ICANN is Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a private, non-government, non-profit organization responsible for Internet Protocol (IP) address space allocation, protocol parameter assignment, domain name system (DNS) management, and root server management. 

Previously, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) managed domain names. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is the non-profit organization that oversees the assignment of both IP addresses and domain names.

ICANN is pronounced EYE-can, as in “I can at least attempt to manage the Internet.”

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a public-private partnership that is responsible for a number of activities related to Internet names and numbers.

  • Allocation of IP addresses. Through five regional internet registries, ICANN manages the distribution and assignment of IP version 4 and IP version 6 network addresses. They allot IP addresses and other resources for their regions.
  • Protocol identifier assignment. ICANN keeps protocol identifiers like reserved port numbers for internet protocols and autonomous systems numbers for global routes.
  • Manage top-level domain names. ICANN manages the DNS through accredited domain registrars. The registrars are the ones who sell domains.
  • Top-level domain management. Domain name system management for generic top-level domains (gTLDs) and country-code top-level domains.
  • Domain name system management at the root level. It is ICANN’s responsibility to maintain the root domain server system.

Maintaining the integrity of the global internet and maintaining uninterrupted global connectivity are dependent upon these functions. At the same time, ICANN must balance local, national, regional, and international concerns while managing the DNS in a manner that is acceptable to the majority of internet users worldwide.

ICANN registry fees

There are three types of fees that ICANN collects from domain registrars:

  • Annual accreditation fee. Each registrar pays $4000 a year.
  • Variable fees. ICANN charges this fee to cover the cost of providing services to all registrars on a quarterly basis.
  • Transaction-based fees. Every time a domain is added, renewed, or transferred, the registrar pays $0.18 to ICANN.

ICANN set up these fees after it became independent and lost government contracts to provide domains and IP addresses.

Read more about domain name registers:

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