Regional Internet Registry
A Regional Internet Registry (RIR) is an organization operating under the auspices of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). An RIR is responsible for distributing [[IPv4), IPv6, and Autonomous System (AS) numbers within their assigned region. They are part of an address distribution hierarchy that ensures that any end-user connected to the Internet is assigned a unique IP address and/or AS number.
The hierarchy begins with the IANA, which assigns blocks of addresses to the RIRs. The RIRs, in turn, assign blocks of addresses to Local Internet Registries (LIR). These LIR are almost always Internet service providers (ISP) who, in turn, assign addresses to their customers and subscribers.
Each level of the hierarchy must justify its need to the level above it. Customers need to pay ISPs for extra addresses, which incents them to be conservative about their address needs and employ technologies like NAT and DHCP. ISPs need to demonstrate the scale of their need for addresses to the RIRs by providing information about their projected customer growth and their policies for conserving addresses. RIRs have to justify their need to the IANA.
There are currently five RIRs:
- AfriNIC - African Network Information Centre
- APNIC - Asia Pacific Network Information Centre
- ARIN - American Registry for Internet Numbers
- LACNIC - Latin America Caribbean Network Information Centre
- RIPE NCC - Réseaux Internet Protocol Européens Network Coordination Center
All five of these RIRs participate in the Number Resource Organization (NRO), an organization formed to coordinate inter-RIR activities and to represent the collective interests of the RIRs.
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