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An Internet standard is a specification that has been approved by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Such standard helps to promote a consistent and universal use of the Internet worldwide.
Prior to approval, the proposed Internet standard goes through a series of stages called a “standards track.” The standard first starts as a draft, which may evolve into an RFC (Request for Comments). If the IETF approves the RFC, then it becomes a standard.
RFCs and proposed Internet standards cover a lot of ground. From standards for handling technical TCP/IP processes to standards for the display of various types of media, the IETF weighs in on a large number of these standards as they make their way toward adoption.
A list of proposed standards can be found at RFC-editor.org.