... "electrified" this week's ICANN 49 meeting in Singapore.
"We're in a situation where the announcement was only made last week so we're into an interesting period of reflection," says Nigel Hickson, ICANN's vice president for global stakeholder engagement in Europe.
Hickson, who was at the meeting in Singapore, along with 2,000 other delegates, including academics, lawyers, business people, members of civil society and governments, says the timing of the US announcement is important.
But he also refers to the plans as a "proposed transition," which clearly hints at the mammoth task ahead. This is not only about "names and numbers" - it's time to talk about the future of the global governance of the internet.
Says Mr Hickson: "Someone or something has got to run the Domain Name System (DNS). And if you're going to have a single open internet, rather than lots of fragmented internets, you need a technical infrastructure that is managed in a way that it remains open."
Specifically, the US is giving up its control of the IANA function, whch oversees the global coordination of the DNS Root, IP addressing, and other Internet protocol resources.
This involves the allocation of unique names and numbers for use in Internet protocols - domain names and Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. IANA falls under ICANN's remit.
A non-profit organization, ICANN takes care of internet databases. It also doles out generic Top Level Domain names [gTLDs], such as .com, .org, .berlin and .africa, and effectively governs the internet under a contract with the US Department of Commerce.
Read the original unabridged Deutsche Welle article.