The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and Internet Society (ISOC) are two of the most important organizations to the past and future success of the Internet. We and our customers critically depend upon the Internet and open Internet standards, and so today we are pleased to announce a strategic support partnership with both the IETF and ISOC to help ensure that the Internet continues to be open and vibrant and that both of those organizations continue to thrive. 

Under a new nine-year strategic sponsorship agreement, Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal have agreed to jointly host three IETF meetings in the next nine years. In addition, the companies have each agreed to maintain their Platinum-level organizational membership, the highest level of support available, for the next nine years as well. The agreement also gives the companies a framework for providing additional sponsorship to the IETF. 

Comcast and NBCUniversal have a long history of supporting and participating in the IETF and ISOC (see below). This agreement commits us to continuing that, and by doing so it provides greater financial stability for the IETF and ISOC. 

If you’re not familiar with IETF, it’s one of the largest and most important Internet multi-stakeholder organizations that develops voluntary, consensus-based Internet standards and best practices.  This large, open international community of network designers, operators, vendors, and researchers is primarily concerned with the architecture and smooth operation of the Internet.  The standards developed by IETF affect the operation and the evolution of the Internet.  And most importantly, these standards are what helps make the Internet work smoothly for users around the world. 

The Internet Society is the administrative home for the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF), and the Internet Architecture Board (IAB). ISOC also performs a wide range of other activities such as holding Internet exchange workshops in Africa, holding Internet security and other Internet-related workshops and meetings, undertaking significant efforts in Internet policy and Internet governance, providing training workshops in developing countries, providing grants, and many other activities. 

The IETF and ISOC are incredibly important to us, the Internet community, and all Internet users. Our continued long-term support is a clear demonstration of our commitment to support both, in order to ensure a vibrant future for the Internet, and for the key institutions that make it open, consensus-based, and multi-stakeholder.  

Additional information below: 

In commemoration of this important agreement, we were pleased to hear the following supporting comments:

  • Braxton Perkins, Vice President, NBCUniversal said, "The engineering work of the IETF and the overall mission of ISOC are critical components of a vibrant, open Internet that enhances creativity and innovation. We are pleased to be long-term members and sponsors of vital groups that make the Internet work better, for everyone."

  • Jari Arkko, Chair and General Area Director, Internet Engineering Task Force, said, "The IETF is focused on developing timely, relevant, and technically excellent standards that help the global Internet grow and evolve," said Jari Arkko, Chair of the IETF. "Comcast and NBCUniversal have always been strong supporters of the IETF. Their support and partnership that is announced today will help us further develop open standards for the Internet. This support is very much appreciated by our community of Internet technology developers. Thank you!"

  • Kathy Brown, President and CEO, Internet Society said, "We appreciate the continued commitment of Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal in supporting the important work of the IETF and the Internet Society.  All of us care deeply about the future of the Internet, and we share the vision of an open, global Internet for everyone.  Open Internet standards, developed by the IETF, are essential to the ongoing evolution of the Internet's architecture and its smooth operation. The IETF, through its multi-stakeholder model that is open to all interested participants from the global engineering community, plays a vital role in the Internet's growth and stability-and continues to do so-thanks to support from organizations like Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal."

  • Bob Hinden, Chair, Internet Society Board of Trustees said, "The Board and I appreciate the long-term commitment that Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal is making to support the work of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and for the open standards that the IETF develops.  Comcast Cable has become a leader in the deployment of IPv6 with over 24% of their customers having IPv6 service.  And when the Board visited NBCUniversal in January, we were very impressed to see how they are using the Internet technology as part of moving very high definition movies through the editing process.  It is a reminder that the open Internet standards are an essential part of everyone's life today.  Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal are supporting this important work as well as using it every day."

 History of IETF sponsorship:


  • IETF 71, in Philadelphia – Comcast was the sole sponsor of the meeting, the Welcome Reception, and the fiber connectivity


  • IETF 77, in Anaheim – Comcast was a supporting sponsor

  • IETF 78, in Maastricht - Comcast was a supporting sponsor


  • IETF 80, in Prague - Comcast was a supporting sponsor

  • IETF 81, in Quebec City - Comcast was a supporting sponsor

  • IETF 82, in Taipei - Comcast was a supporting sponsor


  • IETF 83, in Paris - NBCUniversal was a supporting sponsor

  • IETF 85, in Atlanta – Comcast was a primary co-sponsor along with other organizations in the North American Cable industry, Comcast sponsored the fiber connectivity, and Comcast was a sponsor/participant in Bits-n-Bites


  • IETF 86, in Orlando – Comcast and NBCUniversal jointly sponsored the meeting, NBCUniversal sponsored the Welcome Reception, and Comcast was a sponsor/participant in Bits-n-Bites

  • IETF 87, in Berlin - Comcast was a sponsor/participant in Bits-n-Bites

  • IETF 88, in Vancouver – Comcast, via a joint North American cable industry sponsorship, provided sponsorship support, and Comcast was a sponsor/participant in Bits-n-Bites

  • Starring in 2013, Comcast also committed to underwrite the costs of several lunch meetings of the "IETF Systers", a networking and mentoring group for women at the IETF.


  • IETF 89, in London - Comcast sponsored the Welcome Reception

 History of support for the Internet Society:

  • Comcast: ISOC Platinum member continuously for six years, from 2008 to 2013.

  • NBCUniversal: ISOC Executive member from 2011 to 2012, upgraded to Platinum member in 2013.

  • In 2013 NBCUniversal was a sponsor of the Internet Society Public Policy Fellows program including hosting the "Internet Society Public Policy Fellows Dinner" held in Orlando during IETF 86.  The Dinner is an important event in welcoming and orienting guest regulators from all over the world as they come to observe and discuss the value and effectiveness of the open standards process. 

  • Both Comcast and NBCUniversal have representatives that participate in the ISOC Organizational Advisory Committee.

  • Jason Livingood, Vice President, Comcast, has served on the ISOC Board of Trustees since 2011. Jason is currently the Treasurer of the Internet Society, chairs the Finance Committee, serves on the Executive Committee, recently served on the CEO Search Committee, and previously chaired the Election Committee.

Comcast and NBCUniversal have encouraged others in their industries to join and support ISOC financially, and to participate in the IETF.