What Is IETF?

Internet Engineering Task Force(IETF), established in 1986, is a globally recognized, large international non-governmental organization responsible for developing and setting internet-related technical standards.

IETF's mission is to improve the operation of the Internet. It produces high-quality documents that influence how the Internet is used, managed, and designed. Currently, the standards they develop are often adopted by network providers, equipment suppliers, and Internet users.

IETF has no membership; anyone can join the organization's activities by subscribing to working group mailing lists or registering for IETF meetings. Participants are considered volunteers, including internet-related designers, operators, researchers, and investors from around the world. IETF welcomes anyone interested in its work, so over 7,000+ people actively engage in its activities annually.

The Structure of IETF

The IETF's structure is divided into three main parts: the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG), and Working Groups.

・Working Groups

These groups handle the specific tasks of standard development, each focusing on technical issues in a particular area such as internet protocols, routing, security, etc.


The IAB, whose members are elected by IETF participants, oversees the operation of the various Working Groups.


The IESG receives reports from the Working Groups, reviews their work, and provides guidance.

The Standard-setting Process

The IETF standards development process typically goes through the following stages:

  1. Identification of Issues and Needs: Discuss the problems to be solved or needs to be met, usually proposed by one or more IETF Working Groups.
  2. Drafting: Standard drafts are created and discussed over mailing lists.
  3. Intra-WG Round Robin: The draft is presented to the WG for review and revision.
  4. Public Review: Publish drafts and solicit feedback from other Working Groups and IETF community.
  5. IETF Last Call: The WG submits the final draft to the full IETF for comment, usually over two weeks. If the final draft receives majority support, it can move to the next stage.
  6. Standardization: Depending on the type of draft, it may go through several stages before becoming a standard or RFC - Request for Comments Document.