IEEE Spain Section: 20 Years of ICANN’s Foundation Observed from Europe

By Oscar M Bonastre - Chair of Standards, Technical and Professional Activities, IEEE Spain Section

Last year was the 20th anniversary of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), founded in 1998. The creation of ICANN absolutely changed the development of the Internet. Much of its work has concerned the Internet’s global Domain Name System (DNS), including policy development for internationalization of the DNS system, introduction of new generic top-level domains (TLDs), and the operation of root name servers. ICANN has operated uninterrupted for 20 years, and has been (and is) making huge efforts to keep the whole framework up and running smoothly 24/7. During years after its foundation, the evolution of technology promoted deliberation about New Internet Trends in several venues around the world, and the international recognition of the DNS invention, the DNA of the birth and growth of ICANN.

For the celebration of ICANN’s 20th Anniversary, an interview was promoted with one of ICANN’s early founders. We returned to the origins of ICANN with Eugenio Triana, who played an extraordinary role in its conceptualization, building, and development. Eugenio Triana was appointed as one of ICANN’s nine initial directors in October 1998. Further info about him is available online on the official web page of ICANN and the web page for the Board of Directors. He was thanked for his service by ICANN President Paul Twomey, and ICANN Board Chairman Vint Cerf. Chairman Cerf called upon George Sadowsky, the Chair of the 2005 Nominating Committee.

The dialog with Eugenio covered the conceptualization and governance of ICANN transmitted from his point of view, i.e., as a member of the European Commission, Deputy Director General, and the person responsible for the Commission’s relations with the Information and Communications Technology user interests. Eugenio talked about the early origins from the perspective of European institutions and about the transfer of responsibilities from other institutions to ICANN. In particular, it was detailed how the unexpected death of Jon Postel affected the birth and initial structure of ICANN, the starting point of the White paper and Green paper, and other anecdotes like the decision on the location of the headquarters, deciding between locations in Europe and the United States.

I want to express great gratitude to Eugenio Triana for his voluntary contribution to this interview made on 30 July 2018 from Alicante, Spain, and specially prepared in recognition of the 20th anniversary of ICANN.

The interview is available online, with audio included, at: The documentary of international recognition of the DNS inventor is also available online at: