Internet Architecture Board (IAB) S. Trowbridge, Ed.
Request for Comments: 6756 Alcatel-Lucent
Obsoletes: 3356 E. Lear, Ed.
Category: Informational Cisco Systems
ISSN: 2070-1721 G. Fishman, Ed.
S. Bradner, Ed.
September 2012 Internet Engineering Task Force and
International Telecommunication Union - Telecommunication
Standardization Sector Collaboration Guidelines
This document provides guidance to aid in the understanding of
collaboration on standards development between the Telecommunication
Standardization Sector of the International Telecommunication Union
(ITU-T) and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) of the
Internet Society (ISOC). It is an update of and obsoletes RFC 3356.
The updates reflect changes in the IETF and ITU-T since RFC 3356 was
written. The bulk of this document is common text with ITU-T A
Series Supplement 3 (07/2012).
Note: This was approved by TSAG on 4 July 2012 as Supplement 3 to the
ITU-T A-Series of Recommendations.
Status of This Memo
This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is
published for informational purposes.
This document is a product of the Internet Architecture Board (IAB)
and represents information that the IAB has deemed valuable to
provide for permanent record. It represents the consensus of the
Internet Architecture Board (IAB). Documents approved for
publication by the IAB are not a candidate for any level of Internet
Standard; see Section 2 of RFC 5741.
Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
Copyright (c) 2012 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
document authors. All rights reserved.
This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
(http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
publication of this document. Please review these documents
carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
to this document.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction and Scope ..........................................42. Guidance on Collaboration .......................................52.1. How to Interact on ITU-T or IETF Work Items ................52.1.1. How the ITU-T Is Informed about Existing
IETF Work Items .....................................62.1.2. How the IETF Is Informed about Existing
ITU-T Work Items ....................................62.1.3. How the ITU-T Is Informed about Proposed New
IETF Work Items .....................................62.1.4. How the IETF Is Informed about ITU-T Work Items .....72.2. Representation .............................................72.2.1. IETF Recognition at ITU-T ...........................72.2.2. ITU-T Recognition at ISOC/IETF ......................72.3. Communication outside of Meetings ..........................82.4. Mailing Lists ..............................................82.5. Document Sharing ...........................................92.5.1. Contributions and Liaison Statements from
the IETF to ITU-T ...................................92.5.2. Contributions and Liaison Statements from
the ITU-T to IETF ..................................102.5.3. ITU-T and IETF .....................................102.6. Simple Cross Referencing ..................................112.7. Preliminary Work Efforts ..................................112.8. Additional Items ..........................................112.8.1. IETF Information That May Be Useful to
ITU-T Participants .................................112.8.2. ITU-T Information That May Be Useful to
IETF Participants ..................................123. Security Considerations ........................................134. Acknowledgements ...............................................135. References .....................................................135.1. Normative References ......................................135.2. Informative References ....................................146. Changes since RFC 3356 .........................................157. IAB Members at the Time of Approval ............................15
1. Introduction and Scope
This document provides non-normative guidance to aid in the
understanding of collaboration on standards development between the
Telecommunication Standardization Sector of the International
Telecommunication Union (ITU-T) and the Internet Engineering Task
Force (IETF) of the Internet Society (ISOC). Early identification of
topics of mutual interest will allow for constructive efforts between
the two organizations based on mutual respect.
In the IETF, work is done in working groups (WGs), mostly through
open, public mailing lists rather than face-to-face meetings. WGs
are organized into areas, each area being managed by two co-area
directors. Collectively, the area directors comprise the Internet
Engineering Steering Group (IESG).
In the ITU-T, work is defined by study Questions which are worked on
mostly through meetings led by rapporteurs (these are sometimes
called "rapporteur's group" meetings). Questions are generally
grouped within working parties (WPs) led by a WP chairman. Working
parties report to a parent study group (SG) led by an SG chairman.
Work may also be conducted in ITU-T focus groups (see Section 2.7).
To foster ongoing communication between the ITU-T and IETF, it is
important to identify and establish contact points within each
organization. Contact points may include:
1. ITU-T Study Group Chairman and IETF Area Director
An IETF area director is the individual responsible for overseeing
a major focus of activity with a scope similar to that of an ITU-T
study group chairman. These positions are both relatively long-
term (of several years) and offer the stability of contact points
between the two organizations for a given topic.
2. ITU-T Rapporteur and IETF Working Group Chair
An IETF working group chair is an individual who is assigned to
lead the work on a specific task within one particular area with a
scope similar to that of an ITU-T rapporteur. These positions are
working positions (of a year or more) that typically end when the
work on a specific topic ends. Collaboration here is very
beneficial to ensure the actual work gets done.
3. Other Contact Points
It may be beneficial to establish additional contact points for
specific topics of mutual interest. These contact points should
be established early in the work effort, and in some cases the
contact point identified by each organization may be the same
individual. ITU-T has an additional level of management, the
working party chairman. From time to time, it may be beneficial
for this person to exchange views with IETF working group chairs
and area directors.
Note: The current list of IETF area directors and working group
chairs can be found in the IETF working group charters. The current
ITU-T study group chairmen and rapporteurs are listed on the ITU-T
study group web pages.
2. Guidance on Collaboration
This section describes how the existing processes within the IETF and
ITU-T may be utilized to enable collaboration between the
2.1. How to Interact on ITU-T or IETF Work Items
Study groups that have identified work topics that are related to the
Internet Protocol (IP) should evaluate the relationship with topics
defined in the IETF. Current IETF working groups and their charters
(IETF definition of the scope of work) are listed in the IETF
archives (see Section 2.8.1).
A study group may decide that development of a Recommendation on a
particular topic may benefit from collaboration with the IETF. The
study group should identify this collaboration in its work plan
(specifically in that of each Question involved), describing the goal
of the collaboration and its expected outcome.
An IETF working group should also evaluate and identify areas of
relationship with the ITU-T and document the collaboration with the
ITU-T study group in its charter.
The following sections outline a process that can be used to enable
each group to be informed about the other's new work items.
2.1.1. How the ITU-T Is Informed about Existing IETF Work Items
The responsibility is on individual study groups to review the
current IETF working groups to determine if there are any topics of
mutual interest. Working group charters and active Internet-Drafts
can be found on the IETF web site (http://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/).
If a study group identifies a common area of work, the study group
leadership should contact both the IETF working group chair and the
area director(s) responsible. This may be accompanied by a formal
liaison statement (see Section 2.3).
2.1.2. How the IETF Is Informed about Existing ITU-T Work Items
The IETF through its representatives will review the current work of
the various study groups from time to time. Each ITU-T study group's
web page on the ITU-T web site contains its current list of Questions
as well as its current work programme. When an area or working group
identifies a common area of work, the matter is referred to
appropriate working group chairs and area directors, where they may
consider sending a liaison statement to the appropriate study group.
2.1.3. How the ITU-T Is Informed about Proposed New IETF Work Items
The IETF maintains a mailing list for the distribution of proposed
new work items among standards development organizations. Many such
items can be identified in proposed Birds-of-a-Feather (BOF)
sessions, as well as draft charters for working groups. The IETF
forwards all such draft charters for all new and revised working
groups and BOF session announcements to the IETF new-work mailing
list. An ITU-T mailing list is subscribed to this list. Leadership
of study groups may subscribe to this ITU-T mailing list, which is
maintained by the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB).
Members of the SG-specific listname may include the SG chairman, SG
vice-chairmen, working party chairmen, concerned rapporteurs, other
experts designated by the SG, and the SG Counsellor. This will
enable the SGs to monitor the new work items for possible overlap or
interest to their study group. It is expected that this mailing list
will see a few messages per month.
Each SG chairman, or designated representative, may provide comments
on these charters by responding to the IESG mailing list at
email@example.com clearly indicating their ITU-T position and the nature
of their concern. Plain-text email is preferred on the IESG mailing
It should be noted that the IETF turnaround time for new working
group charters can be as short as two weeks. As a result, the
mailing list should be consistently monitored.
2.1.4. How the IETF Is Informed about ITU-T Work Items
The ITU-T accepts new areas of work through the creation or update of
Questions and these can be found on the ITU-T study group web pages.
In addition, the ITU-T work programme is documented on each ITU-T
study group's web page on the ITU-T web site.
Study groups send updates to the IETF new-work mailing list as new
Questions are first drafted or created, terms of reference for
Questions are first drafted or updated, or otherwise when there is
reason to believe that a particular effort might be of interest to
the IETF. Area directors or WG chairs should provide comments
through liaison statements or direct email to the relevant SG
chairman in cases of possible overlap or interest.
ISOC, including its standards body IETF, is a Sector Member of the
ITU-T. As a result, ISOC delegates are afforded the same rights as
other ITU-T Sector Members (see Section 2.2.1). Conversely, ITU-T
delegates may participate in the work of the IETF as representatives
of the ITU-T (see Section 2.2.2). To promote collaboration, it is
useful to facilitate communication between the organizations as
further described below.
2.2.1. IETF Recognition at ITU-T
Experts and representatives from the IETF that are chosen by IETF
leadership normally participate in ITU-T meetings as ISOC delegates.
The ISOC focal point will facilitate registration and verification of
these people, as appropriate.
2.2.2. ITU-T Recognition at ISOC/IETF
ITU-T study group chairmen can authorize one or more members to
attend an IETF meeting as an official ITU-T delegate speaking
authoritatively on behalf of the activities of the study group (or a
particular rapporteur group). The study group chairman sends the
ITU-T list of delegates by email to the working group chair, with a
copy to the area directors, and also to the study group. According
to IETF process, opinions expressed by any such delegate are given
equal weight with opinions expressed by any other working group
2.3. Communication outside of Meetings
Informal communication between contact points and experts of both
organizations is encouraged. However, formal communication from an
ITU-T study group, working party, or rapporteur group to an
associated IETF contact point must be explicitly approved and
identified as coming from the study group, working party, or
rapporteur group, respectively. Formal liaison statements from the
ITU-T to the IETF are transmitted according to the procedures
described in RFC 4053 . These liaison statements are placed by
the IETF onto a liaison statements web page at
https://datatracker.ietf.org/liaison/. An individual at the IETF is
assigned responsibility for dealing with each liaison statement that
is received. The name and contact information of the responsible
person and any applicable deadline is listed with the links to the
liaison statement on this web page.
Formal liaison statements from the Internet Architecture Board (IAB),
the IESG, the IETF, an IETF working group or area to the ITU-T are
generated, approved, and transmitted according to the procedures
described in RFC 4053  and Recommendation ITU-T A.1 . Formal
communication is intended to allow the sharing of positions between
the IETF and the ITU-T outside of actual documents (as described in
Section 2.5.1). This covers such things as comments on documents and
requests for input.
2.4. Mailing Lists
All IETF working groups and all ITU-T study group Questions have
associated mailing lists.
In the IETF, the mailing list is the primary vehicle for discussion
and decision-making. It is recommended that the ITU-T experts
interested in particular IETF working group topics subscribe to and
participate in these lists. IETF WG mailing lists are open to all
subscribers. The IETF working group mailing list subscription and
archive information are noted in each working group's charter. In
the ITU-T, the TSB has set up formal mailing lists for Questions,
working parties, and other topics within study groups (more detail
can be found on the ITU-T web site). These mailing lists are
typically used for ITU-T correspondence, including technical
discussion, meeting logistics, reports, etc.
Note: Individual subscribers to this list must be affiliated with an
ITU-T member or associate (at this time, there is no blanket
inclusion of all IETF participants as members, however, as a member,
the ISOC focal point can facilitate access by IETF technical experts,
liaison representatives, or liaison managers).
IETF participants may subscribe to ITU-T focus group email lists if
they are individuals from a country that is a member of ITU-T.
2.5. Document Sharing
During the course of ITU-T and IETF collaboration, it is important to
share working drafts and documents among the technical working
groups. Initially proposed concepts and specifications typically can
be circulated by email (often just repeating the concept and not
including the details of the specification) on both the IETF and
ITU-T mailing lists. In addition, working texts (or URLs) of draft
Recommendations, Internet-Drafts, or RFCs may also be sent between
the organizations as described below.
Internet-Drafts are available on the IETF web site. The ITU-T can
make selected ITU-T documents at any stage of development available
to the IETF by attaching them to a formal liaison statement.
Although a communication can point to a URL where a non-ASCII
document (e.g., Word) can be downloaded, attachments in proprietary
formats to an IETF mailing list are discouraged. It should also be
recognized that the official versions of all IETF documents are in
2.5.1. Contributions and Liaison Statements from the IETF to ITU-T
IETF documents (e.g., Internet-Drafts) or URLs of those documents are
most commonly transmitted to ITU-T study groups as liaison statements
(see RFC 4053 ), but exceptionally can be submitted to a study
group as a contribution from ISOC in accordance with Recommendation
ITU-T A.2 . In order to ensure that the IETF has properly
authorized this, the IETF working group must agree that the specific
drafts are of mutual interest; that there is a benefit in forwarding
them to the ITU-T for review, comment, and potential use; and that
the document status is accurately represented in the cover letter.
Once agreed, the appropriate area directors review the working group
request and give approval. The rules of the IETF Trust are followed
in these circumstances . The contributions are then forwarded
(with the noted approval) to the TSB for circulation as a
contribution to the appropriate ITU-T study group. Material
submitted to the ITU-T as an ISOC contribution is governed by clause
3.1.5 of Recommendation ITU-T A.1 . Any such contribution will
be made only after receiving necessary approval of owners of the work
in question. In other circumstances, a liaison statement may be
appropriate. See RFC 5378  and Recommendation ITU-T A.1  for
2.5.2. Contributions and Liaison Statements from the ITU-T to IETF
An ITU-T study group or working party may send texts of draft new or
revised Recommendations, clearly indicating their status, to the IETF
as contributions in the form of liaison statements or Internet-
Drafts. Internet-Drafts are IETF temporary documents that expire six
months after being published. The study group or working party must
decide that there is a benefit in forwarding them to the IETF for
review, comment, and potential use. Terms of reference for
rapporteur group meetings may authorize rapporteur groups to send
working documents, in the form of Internet-Drafts, to the IETF.
If the study group or working party elects to transmit the text as an
Internet-Draft, the document editor would be instructed to prepare
the contribution in Internet-Draft format (in ASCII and optionally
postscript format as per RFC 2223 ) and upload it via
https://datatracker.ietf.org/idst/upload.cgi. Material submitted as
an Internet-Draft or intended for inclusion in an Internet-Draft or
RFC is governed by the rules set forth in RFCs 5378 , 3979 ,
and 4879 . Alternatively, the study group, working party, or
rapporteur group could attach the text to a formal liaison statement.
Both the rapporteur and the document editor should be identified as
contacts in the contribution. The document should also clearly
indicate the state of development in a particular ITU-T study group.
Note: Liaison statements and their attachments sent to the IETF are
made publicly available on the IETF web site.
2.5.3. ITU-T and IETF
It is envisaged that the processes of Sections 2.5.1 and 2.5.2 will
often be used simultaneously by both an IETF working group and an
ITU-T study group to collaborate on a topic of mutual interest.
It is also envisaged that the outcome of the collaboration will be
the documentation in full by one body and its referencing by the
other (see Section 2.6 for details). That is, common or joint text
is discouraged because of the current differences in procedures for
document approval and revision. Where complementary work is being
undertaken in both organizations that will result in Recommendations
or RFCs, due allowance should be given to the differing perspectives,
working methods, and procedures of the two organizations. That is,
each organization should understand the other organization's
procedures and strive to respect them in the collaboration.
2.6. Simple Cross Referencing
Recommendation ITU-T A.5  describes the process for including
references to documents of other organizations in ITU-T
Recommendations. Recommendation ITU-T A.5 also addresses the
situation where a study group or working party decides to incorporate
the text of another organization into the text of a Recommendation,
rather than referencing it. Information specific to referencing IETF
RFCs is found at http://itu.int/ITU-T/go/ref-ietf-isoc.
Section 6.1.1 of RFC 2026  describes the process for referencing
other open standards (like ITU-T Recommendations) in IETF RFCs.
2.7. Preliminary Work Efforts
Both ITU-T and IETF provide mechanisms for early discussion of
potential new work areas prior to the official start of work in an
ITU-T study group or creation of an IETF working group.
Objectives, methods, and procedures for the creation and operation of
ITU-T focus groups are defined in Recommendation ITU-T A.7 .
Focus groups are frequently created in new work areas where there is
a need for deliverables to be produced on a specific topic within a
short timeframe. IETF participants who are not members or associates
of ITU-T may participate fully in the work of ITU-T focus groups if
they are from a country that is a member of ITU-T.
In the IETF, guidance for BOF sessions is provided in RFC 5434 .
Efforts that have not yet reached the working group stage may be
discussed in BOF sessions. These sessions typically gauge interest
in pursuing creation of working groups. In some cases, these
discussions continue on mailing lists.
2.8. Additional Items
2.8.1. IETF Information That May Be Useful to ITU-T Participants
Information on IETF procedures may be found in the documents in the
informative references, and URLs below.
Note: RFCs do not change after they are published. Rather, they are
either obsoleted or updated by other RFCs. Such updates are tracked
in the rfc-index.txt file.
Current list and status of all IETF RFCs:
ITU-T Procedures including:
WTSA Resolution 1, Rules of procedure of the ITU Telecommunication
Standardization Sector (ITU-T)
WTSA Resolution 2, Study Group responsibility and mandates
Author's Guide for drafting ITU-T Recommendations:
Templates for contributions, ITU-T Recommendations, and liaison
http://itu.int/ITU-T/studygroups/templates/index.html3. Security Considerations
Documents that describe cooperation procedures, like this one does,
have no direct Internet security implications.
This document is based on the text from RFCs 2436 and 3356  and
benefited greatly from discussions during the January 2012 ITU-T
Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) meeting.
5.1. Normative References
 Daigle, L., Ed., and Internet Architecture Board, "IAB
Processes for Management of IETF Liaison Relationships", BCP
102, RFC 4052, April 2005.
 Trowbridge, S., Bradner, S., and F. Baker, "Procedures for
Handling Liaison Statements to and from the IETF", BCP 103, RFC
4053, April 2005.
 Bradner, S., Ed., and J. Contreras, Ed., "Rights Contributors
Provide to the IETF Trust", BCP 78, RFC 5378, November 2008.
 Bradner, S., Ed., "Intellectual Property Rights in IETF
Technology", BCP 79, RFC 3979, March 2005.
 Narten, T., "Clarification of the Third Party Disclosure
Procedure in RFC 3979", BCP 79, RFC 4879, April 2007.
 Recommendation ITU-T A.5 (2008), Generic procedures for
including references to documents of other organizations in
ITU-T Recommendations, International Telecommunication Union.
5.2. Informative References
 Bradner, S., "The Internet Standards Process -- Revision 3",
BCP 9, RFC 2026, October 1996.
 Postel, J. and J. Reynolds, "Instructions to RFC Authors", RFC
2223, October 1997.
 Brett, R., Bradner, S., and G. Parsons, "Collaboration between
ISOC/IETF and ITU-T", RFC 2436, October 1998.
 Fishman, G. and S. Bradner, "Internet Engineering Task Force
and International Telecommunication Union - Telecommunications
Standardization Sector Collaboration Guidelines", RFC 3356,
 Hovey, R. and S. Bradner, "The Organizations Involved in the
IETF Standards Process", BCP 11, RFC 2028, October 1996.
 Bradner, S., "IETF Working Group Guidelines and Procedures",
BCP 25, RFC 2418, September 1998.
 Narten, T., "Considerations for Having a Successful Birds-of-a-
Feather (BOF) Session", RFC 5434, February 2009.
 Alvestrand, H., "A Mission Statement for the IETF", BCP 95, RFC
3935, October 2004.
 Recommendation ITU-T A.1 (2008), Work methods for study groups
of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T),
International Telecommunication Union.
 Recommendation ITU-T A.2 (2008), Presentation of contributions
to the ITU-T, International Telecommunication Union.
 Recommendation ITU-T A.7 (2008), Focus groups: Working methods
and procedures, International Telecommunication Union.
 Recommendation ITU-T A.8 (2008), Alternative approval process
for new and revised ITU-T Recommendations, International
6. Changes since RFC 3356
The introduction has been integrated with the scope section.
Additional information has been added about copyright and IPR issues.
Authorization of liaison managers and liaison representatives from
IETF to ITU-T are updated per current IETF procedures documented in
Transmission of formal liaison statements between ITU-T and IETF are
updated per current IETF procedures documented in .
Description is added of preliminary efforts including ITU-T focus
groups and IETF BOFs. ITU-T focus group participation is not limited
to ITU-T members.
Obsolete URLs in RFC 3356 from both the ITU-T and IETF web sites are
updated, more references have been moved to the References section.
7. IAB Members at the Time of Approval