Regional Internet registry

Regional Internet registry

A regional Internet registry (RIR) is an organization that manages the allocation and registration of Internet number resources within a particular region of the world. Internet number resources include IP addresses and autonomous system (AS) numbers.

Map of Regional Internet Registries
Regional Internet Registries from 2002-2005
Regional Internet Registries until 2002

The Regional Internet Registry system evolved over time, eventually dividing the world into five RIRs:


The relationship between RIRs and IANA

The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) delegates Internet resources to the RIRs who, in turn, follow their regional policies to delegate resources to their customers, which include Internet service providers and end-user organizations. Collectively, the RIRs participate in the Number Resource Organization (NRO),[6] formed as a body to represent their collective interests, undertake joint activities, and coordinate their activities globally. The NRO has entered into an agreement with ICANN for the establishment of the Address Supporting Organisation (ASO),[7] which undertakes coordination of global IP addressing policies within the ICANN framework.

Number Resource Organization

NRO logo

The Number Resource Organization[6] (NRO) is an unincorporated organization uniting the five RIRs. It came into existence on October 24, 2003, when the four existing RIRs entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in order to undertake joint activities, including joint technical projects, liaison activities and policy co-ordination.

AfriNIC, which was officially created in April 2005, joined on April 25, 2005.

The main aims of the NRO are to:

  • Protect the unallocated IP number resource pool,
  • Promote and protect the bottom-up policy development process of the Internet, and
  • Act as a focal point for Internet community input into the RIR system.

See also


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