Just like other fields in the industry, a set of standards have been put in place for data communication and networking. These standards help guarantee that despite the fast turn around and development in the data communications industry, any software and hardware manufactured by different companies can cohesively work towards the goal of sharing information via networking.
The standards also help consumers choose from the multitude of available software systems and hardware equipment that have been certified to have met the standard requirements. This paves the way for a more controlled price range and increased competition among the vendors by providing the best quality product and service, which the costumer can benefit from.
Some of the most common standards are: hypertext markup language (HTML); transmission control protocol (TCP); internet message access protocol (IMAP); internet network package exchange (IPX); hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP); internet protocol (IP); post office protocol (POP); local area network (LAN); sequence packet exchange (SPX); and motion pictures expert group (MPEG).
One of the most important organization for standardization is the International Organization for Standardization or ISO in Geneva, Switzerland. ISO makes technical endorsements regarding data communication interfaces. The members comprise national standard organizations from countries recognized by the ISO.
Another international standard organization is the International Telecommunications Union-Telecommunications Group or ITU-T also located in Geneva, Switzerland, which is the technical-standard setting organization of the United Nations International Telecommunications Union. Originally focused on public telephone companies in its member countries, it has now widened its coverage to include companies from both the private and public sectors who operate communications or computer networks and those who create equipment and software for these telecommunication companies.
Last but not the least is the Internet Engineering Task Force or IETF, an organization that sets the standards with regards to Internet operations. This organization is also unique compared to the other standardization organizations in that they do not require an official membership to be a participant.