Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman. Thank you for allowing me time to make a few short remarks. I am Raymond Plzak, the President of the American Registry for Internet Numbers, ARIN, one of the Regional Internet Registries. I am here this afternoon to speak on behalf of the Number Resource Organization, the NRO. I wish to take a few moments of your time to provide you with information regarding the current management of Internet Number Resources and to express a few thoughts about the Working Group.
The NRO was formed by the Regional Internet Registries, the RIRs, in October 2003 to formalize their cooperative efforts. The NRO exists to protect the unallocated Number Resource pool, to promote and protect the bottom up operational and technical policy development process, and to act as a focal point for input into the RIR system.
Internet Number Resources have been actively managed since the Internet Protocol was established in 1981. This began with a Central Registry and then was regionalized over time as the RIRs were formed beginning in 1992. The Central Registry ceased Internet Number Resource management in 1997. There are currently four RIRs providing the management of these resources. APNIC serving the Asia-Pacific area and the islands east of Africa in the Indian Ocean, ARIN serving Northern America, portions of the Caribbean and continental Africa south of the equator, LACNIC serving Latin America and portions of the Caribbean, and RIPE NCC, serving Europe, portions of Asia, and continental Africa north of the equator. The NRO is currently actively engaged in the establishment of a fifth RIR to manage internet number resources in Africa. AFRINIC will serve those portions of Africa that are currently served by APNIC, ARIN, and RIPE NCC. We expect AFRINIC to be fully operational in 2005.
The RIRs use a multi-stakeholder approach for the development of operational and technical policy to manage IP address space. The RIRs are structured along the lines discussed this morning. The RIRs are transparent – all of the email discussion lists are open to everyone without restriction. The public policy meetings are open to everyone without restriction. The RIRs are accountable. Their governing boards are elected, the minutes of all meetings are publicly published, the budgets are publicly published, and the members direct their activities. The RIRs are inclusive. Anyone may become a member.
The RIRs through the NRO fully support the ICANN model. The NRO is confident that this model is the best way for industry self-regulation to work in the development of technical policy for the technical management of Internet Number Resources.
In regards to the Working Group, the NRO believes that it should be transparent, accountable, and inclusive. It should include not only governments, but also stakeholders who have participated or will participate in the development and operation of the internet. These are valuable voices and they must have meaningful participation. Lastly, we humbly ask that the NRO be included as a full participant in the Working Group.
Thank you very much for your patience.