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The mission of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is to "produce high quality, relevant technical documents that influence the way people design, use, and manage the Internet in such a way as to make the Internet work better" . This is a continuous process driving and driven by the rapid evolution of the Internet. Protocols and other technical standards developed by the IETF are the fundamental building blocks of our networked society. This feature topic gives an overview of recent achievements in creating standards that soon will have an impact on design, use, and management of the Internet. For this issue, we received 20 papers, many solicited directly from those who are responsible for these standards, from which we selected papers that represent five of the eight areas of the IETF: routing, transport, operations and management, Internet, and real-time applications and infrastructure.