Statement of the NRO EC and ASO AC regarding the 2017 ASO Review

Statement of the Number Resource Organization Executive Council (NRO EC) and Address Supporting Organization Address Council (ASO AC) regarding the 2017 ASO Review

25 May 2017

The Address Supporting Organisation (ASO) is an entity established in 2004 by a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) among the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the Number Resource Organization (NRO).

The ASO is also specified in Article 9 of the ICANN Bylaws as the body which advises the ICANN Board with respect to global policy issues relating to the operation, assignment and management of Internet addresses. Under the ASO MoU, it is agreed that the NRO fulfills the role, responsibilities and functions of the ASO.

The ICANN Bylaws, in Section 4.4(a), call for periodic reviews of the performance and operation of each Supporting Organization by an entity independent of the organization under review.

The ASO underwent first independent review during 2011. In 2017, the NRO engaged ITEMS International to conduct the second independent review of the ASO. The objective of this review is to determine whether the ASO has a continuing purpose in the ICANN structure, whether any change in structure or operations of the ASO is desirable to improve its effectiveness in the ICANN structure, and additionally whether the ASO is sufficiently accountable to the Internet number community when carrying out its responsibilities.

As an input to the second independent review process, the Executive Council of the NRO, composed of the chief executives of the five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs), together with the NRO Number Council (which serves as, and is more commonly referred to as, the ASO Address Council), have agreed to issue the following statement:

1. We believe that the ASO has been effective:

● In undertaking a role in the global policy development process as described in the ASO MoU. (See list of global policies at policies/global-policy-proposals/)

● In providing recommendations to the Board of ICANN concerning the recognition of new RIRs (See recommendations regarding LACNIC <> and AFRINIC <>)

● In defining procedures for the selection of individuals to serve on other ICANN bodies, in particular on the ICANN Board, and implementing any roles assigned to the Address Council in such procedures (per the ASO AC ICANN Board Selection Procedures < selection-procedures/>)

● In providing advice to the Board of ICANN or IANA team on number resource allocation policy, in conjunction with the RIRs. Some examples of advice provided include:

● Regarding the possibility of treating 2-byte and 4-byte ASNs differently, and fulfilling ASN requests partly with the last of the 2-byte and partly with 4-byte ASNs,
● Regarding when to empty the IPv4 reserved pool after allocating the last /8 to each RIR,
● And in responding to the Boards questions about Global Policy Proposals that are pending ratification.

2. The ASO is accountable to the Internet number community when carrying out its responsibilities:

● ASO AC members are appointed from each RIR region, according to election and appointment procedures defined in each region:


● The RIRs themselves are accountable to the boards and memberships of each organisation, according to well-document accountability arrangements (See RIR Accountability information < accountability/>

● NRO EC members, being appointed by the Board of Directors of each RIR, are accordingly accountable to those Boards respectively.

3. The ASO has a continuing purpose in the ICANN structure. According to the ASO MoU, its main purpose is:

● To support the processes for global policy development for Internet number resources, as defined in Attachment A of the ASO MoU.

● Make recommendations to the Board of ICANN concerning IP addressing policies, including the recognition of new RIRs under ICANN policy ICP-2.

● Define accessible open transparent and documented procedures for the selection of individuals to serve on ICANN bodies (via the ASO Address Council, or AC) In addition to fulfilling this core purpose, the ASO fulfills a demonstrated need for representation of IP addressing matters during ICANN meetings and other processes, in an advisory and informational capacity. For instance:

● Participation in numerous discussions on IPv6, during Public Board, GAC and other sessions.

● Coordination with the Public Safety Working Group of the GAC.

●Participation in security discussions at SSAC and other meetings, particularly related to the use and deployment of RPKI.

● Collaboration with ICANN staff on IP addressing issues, such as IPv6 promotion, DNSSEC KSK rollover awareness, and the “Internet Technology Health Indicator” initiative.

● Supporting ICANN’s IPv6 initiative, covering IPv6 compatibility requirements
for ICANN’s contracted parties, and other technology suppliers.

4. The last review of the ASO completed in 2012, provided important recommendations around the need to make certain clarifications to the ASO MoU. The MoU provides, in clause 9, a provision for periodic review. With new ICANN bylaws in effect since 2016, and with new overall circumstances surrounding addressing issues – such as IPv4 exhaustion and, subsequently, diminishing rate of development of new Global Policies – this ASO review could bring a good opportunity to update the ASO MoU with ICANN.

5. The numbering community is represented within the ICANN community by two different bodies, the ASO and the ASO AC. The NRO, when acting within ICANN, is referred to as the ASO, and the NRO’s Number Council is referred to as the ASO AC.

While the delineation of scope between the ASO AC and NRO EC is clear in the ICANN Bylaws and ASO MoU, there is a general lack of understanding of the roles both within ICANN and the numbers community. The roles of the NRO EC and the ASO AC have been a source of confusion and misunderstandings which we feel should be addressed in future.

6. The predominant formal interaction between the numbering community and ICANN has been in regard to ASO AC responsibilities of global number policy, and appointment of representatives to ICANN bodies (including ICANN’s Board of Trustees).

The advisory scope of the ASO AC is limited to the global address policies, which leaves it unable to represent the number community on a general basis. Where other matters have been discussed within ICANN (e.g. regional policy matters, ICANN financial matters), the number community has been represented by the NRO EC, or via clear processes that provided for community engagement on any positions taken (such as occurred during the CWG & CCWG WS1 Accountability discussions and for numbering community IANA representation discussions via the creation of the CRISP team).

7. The NRO / ASO AC model is similar to, but does not reflect the same separation of address policy and operational matters that exists at the regional level in each of the five RIR regions. The ASO AC members are accountable to the global
number community for the performance of the ASO AC responsibilities (including facilitating global number policy, providing advice with respect to the new RIRs, etc.) RIR staff in the NRO EC do not have policy development responsbilities, but have broad operational responsibility for the Internet number registry system and are accountable to the number community in each region via duly-elected governing bodies.

8. Once the final ASO Review report is presented (anticipated to be in the third quarter 2017), the NRO EC will review the result and may propose possible changes in structure or operations of the ASO to improve its effectiveness in the ICANN context. Any resulting proposal to change ASO structure or operations would be put out to community wide consultations in each of the RIRs. We would then compile the results of these consultations, and finalize the recommendations, including implementation steps such as possible amendments to the ASO MoU and internal processes. The NRO EC anticipates working together with the the ICANN Organizational Effectiveness Committee (OEC) of the Board as necessary to operationalize any resulting recommendations.

Signed and submitted on behalf of the respective organizations –
John Curran, Chair of the Number Resource Organization Executive Council (NRO EC)
Filiz Yilmaz, Chair of the Address Supporting Organization Address Council (ASO AC)

PDF Version.

Last modified on 16/04/2024