Supporting Organizations


The ICANN Bylaws provide for three Supporting Organizations (SOs) to assist, review and develop recommendations on Internet policy and structure within three specialized areas. (See Bylaws Article VI.)  The SOs will help to promote the development of Internet policy and encourage international and diverse participation in the technical management of the Internet. Each SO will name three Directors to the ICANN Board.

The three SOs are:

1. The Address Supporting Organization (ASO) will be concerned with the system of IP addresses, such as, that uniquely identify the Internet's networked computers.

2. The Domain Name Supporting Organization (DNSO) will be concerned with the Domain Name System, the system of names commonly used to identify Internet locations and resources.  The DNS translates heirarchically-structured, easy-to-remember names (like www.icann.org) into IP addresses that have been assigned to specific computers. 

3. The Protocol Supporting Organization (PSO) will be concerned with the assignment of parameters for Internet protocols, the technical standards that let computers exchange information and manage communications over the Internet.


Each of the Supporting Organizations will name three Directors to the ICANN Board.  Directors will serve three-year terms, though staggered from one to three years at the outset.

The Supporting Organizations will be the primary source of substantive policy recommendations for matters lying within their specialized charters and will serve as advisory bodies to the Board according to the procedures set forth in the ICANN Bylaws.


Participation in the Supporting Organizations will be open to any individual or organization that meets the reasonable minimum qualifications proposed by the SOs and ratified by the ICANN Board.  Each individual SO will adopt participation structures appropriate for its effective functioning.


The SOs are expected to be self-funding. It is expected that each SO will establish equitable participation dues or other assessments to cover all costs of organizing and sustaining the work of the SO within the ICANN structure.

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