NRO FAQ

What is the NRO?

The Number Resource Organization (NRO) is a coordinating body for the five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) that manage the distribution of Internet number resources including IP addresses and Autonomous System Numbers. Each RIR consists of the Internet community in its region.

What are the goals of the NRO?

The main goals of the NRO are to:

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

Does the NRO develop policies?

No. The NRO does not develop, approve, or implement regional or global Internet number resource policies. RIRs administer community-defined regional policies and facilitate their creation using established, open policy development processes. With input from the RIRs, the NRO serves as ICANN’s Address Supporting Organization and reviews and develops recommendations on global IP address policy for ratification by ICANN’s Board of Directors.

How can I be involved in the global policy development process?

Any individual may submit a global policy proposal. Each RIR community must ratify an identical version of the proposed policy. The NRO Executive Council then refers the coordinated proposal to the ASO Address Council (ASO AC), which reviews the process by which the proposal was developed and passes it to the ICANN Board of Directors for ratification as a global policy.

Does the NRO have any influence in the Regional Internet Registries’ Policy Development processes?

No. Individual RIRs facilitate direct participation in the policy development process by any interested party. This ensures that those who need and use Internet number resources dictate the policies the RIRs use to manage their distribution. Each RIR holds independent, open public policy meetings and hosts public mailing lists to discuss and develop policy proposals. While official, up-to-date RIR policy is maintained on individual RIR websites, the NRO publishes a document that provides a comparative overview of policies across the RIR system.

What is the NRO position in relation to Internet Governance?

As the Internet has grown, some governments and intergovernmental organizations have sought to play a stronger role in governing its use and ensuring that it is “properly” regulated. This approach has been resisted by the Internet community at large, which maintains that imposing governmental controls would inevitably stifle this highly effective network.

Governmental oversight structures may have negative impacts such as slowing Internet innovation, subordinating technical decisions to political criteria, and increasing bureaucracy. Such structures would reduce the highly valued security and stability of the Internet and may threaten the freedom of information exchange. The preservation of operational stability must be the key principle on which the transition to any new framework is based.

Internet technical coordination activities must be free of governmental oversight and the activities must use participation models that incorporate the diversity of all interested parties, including governments, civil society, private industry, and the technical community. The current Internet address management system has brought stability, equity of access, openness, and transparency to one of the Internet’s most vital functions. This system enjoys significant community, industry, and government support.

How can I be updated about the NRO activities?

NRO activities and events are announced via the nro-announce@nro.net mailing list. Subscription information and other NRO mailing lists are available at http://www.nro.net/contact-the-nro#lists.

What is the the total membership of the RIRs

The total membership of the RIRs as at July 2013 is 22,212. This is made up as follows:

AFRINIC 1,354
APNIC 3,863
ARIN 4,464
LACNIC 3,115
RIPE NCC 9,416

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