A Concise Guide to the Major Internet Bodies

Ever wonder what organizations hold a formative role in steering the Internet and solidifying important standards? ACM’s Ubiquity publication has provided a helpful summary guide. According to author Alex Simonelis:

Almost all Internet technological standards are developed and set by the group consisting of the Internet Society (ISOC) and the units operating under the auspices of ISOC: the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG), the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the Internet Research Steering Group (IRSG), the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF), and the RFC Editor. It is important to note that, while these units are responsible to ISOC, ISOC allows them a large degree of independence in their technical work.

Internet domain names and IP addresses are the province of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and its Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).

World Wide Web standards are developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

Touching on the topic of the physical networks that tie together to form the Internet, Simonelis comments:

[T]he Internet’s physical network structure … is essentially determined by a large number of mainly commercial network operators, ranging from small to intercontinental, that build and join their infrastructures in response to market forces, in order to provide them to subscribers on a paid basis. These networks that form the Internet are linked in a topology similar to that of a large, well-developed highway system.