2.1.6 Administration of Internet Resources

IANA is responsible for ensuring the uniqueness of the full set of Internet resources. This includes the full range of IPv4 and IPv6 addresses and the whole 32-bit Autonomous System (AS) Number range. IANA allocates blocks of these resources to each of the five RIRs for them to distribute to their members and end users.

The RIPE Database contains large placeholder allocation objects to represent the range of IPv4 and IPv6 addresses that have been allocated by IANA to the RIPE NCC. Not all of this address space has been allocated yet by the RIPE NCC to LIRs or end users.

The RIPE Database also holds details of legacy Internet resources. "Legacy" is the term given to those Internet number resources that were distributed before (or outside of) the current system of hierarchical distribution by the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs). Legacy Internet resources were transferred to the RIPE NCC from the IANA's central registry according to the location of their legal organisation contact at the time.

Legacy address space represented in the RIPE Database is structured into an administrative hierarchy. For every legacy hierarchy in the RIPE Database there is one inetnum that sits at the top of the hierarchy. The RIPE NCC considers the holder of this inetnum as the top-level legacy resource holder. All more specifics to this object are considered to have some business or contractual or historical relationship with the top-level legacy resource holder.

It is intended that the RIPE Database must only hold information about IP addresses that the RIPE NCC is administratively responsible for. There may still be some historical data that needs cleaning up.

The full range of 32-bit AS Numbers are represented in the RIPE Database by the as-block objects. All ASNs assigned by the RIPE NCC are represented in the RIPE Database by aut-num objects.

It should be noted that the RIPE Database is part of the global Internet Routing Registry. It may contain route(6) objects relating to any address space. This does not indicate any authoritative or administrative control over these Internet resources by the RIPE NCC.

There is a link between the number registry and the routing registry in order to authorise the creation of these route(6) objects. As a result, the originating ASN must be represented in the RIPE Database. Because of this requirement, many aut-num objects have been created in the RIPE Database that are copies of ASNs that the RIPE NCC is not administratively responsible for. This can sometimes cause confusion when the copied aut-num object in the RIPE Database reflects different contact details or routing policy to the object held in the database of the authoritative RIR.