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RIPE (Réseaux IP Européens) is a collaborative forum existing since November 1989 and open to all parties interested in wide area IP networks. Work is carried out by individual volunteers in their own or their organisation's time.

It was realised that not all activities could be carried out by volunteers, especially those needing continuity and constant availability. Therefore there was a need for the 'RIPE NCC' (Network Coordination Centre) to perform these coordinating tasks. The most important tasks were seen to be:

  • Maintenance of a database for all IP and AS network numbers
  • Being a delegated IP registry for Europe

A document describing the RIPE NCC was first published in September 1990, and the first activity plan was published in May 1991.


RIPE asked RARE (one of the predecessors of TERENA) if they would provide the legal framework for the RIPE NCC. After a solicitation procedure, the RIPE NCC began in April 1992 with its headquarters in Amsterdam, Daniel Karrenberg as manager and only two other staff members. Initial funding was

provided by the academic networks (RARE members), EARN and EUnet.

Early staff photo - RIPE NCC

It was an important development for European networking that the RIPE NCC succeeded in its first nine months of operations to become a true Regional Internet Registry. Its task was to support all those activities that could not be effectively performed by volunteers from the organisations participating in RIPE.

Early staff photo - RIPE NCC

Since it began, the RIPE NCC has performed both administrative and innovative activities. The main administrative task is acting as a Regional Internet Registry which allocates and assigns IP address space and other Internet numbers. Innovative activities span a wide range from pioneering MBONE and WWW services to playing a major part in the development of the Internet Routing Registry (IRR).

At the end of 1994, the workload on Registration Services grew beyond all expectations. The revenue generated from voluntary contributions did not keep step and a serious resource shortage resulted. It was decided that requests from contributing registries should be dealt with first. This had the effect that during 1995 all registries contributed to the funding in order to receive service.

The RIPE NCC was formally established when the Dutch version of the articles of association was deposited with the Amsterdam Chamber of Commerce on 12 November 1997.

Photo of the RIPE NCC offices in Amsterdam