Memorandum of Understanding ICANN Address Supporting Organization
First Draft, 1 September, 1999
(1) Purpose and Scope
(a) The Address Supporting Organization (ASO) is a consensus-based
advisory body within the ICANN framework.
(b) The ASO will establish a "Address Council" and host an annual
open meeting (the "General Assembly").
(c) The purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)is to
establish a set of principles that ICANN and the group of ICANN
approved regional IP address registries (RIR)who have signed
below (the Signing RIRs)will use in forming and operating the
ASO. Additional RIRs will join in signing the MOU after they
have been approved by ICANN.
(2) Composition and Action of Address Council.
(a) Selection. Each RIR signatory of the MOU will select three 
individuals to the Address Council using the following process:
(i) Annually the RIR will issue a public call for nominees to
the Address Council at least 90 days before the RIR's
policy meeting. Any individual can submit a nomination to
the RIR. No nominated individual may be a member of the
staff of any RIR.
(ii) The due date for this call shall be 30 days before the
(iii) The nominees must be individuals.
(iv) A list of all nominees who agree to run for the Address
Council must be posted on the RIR's web page at least 15
days before the meeting along with a statement from each
nominee who wishes to make one.
(v) Selection of the RIR's members of the Address Council will
be made via an open and transparent procedure. The
selection process will be part of the agenda of the RIR's
policy meeting. The RIR may, as an interim measure, adopt
a different process to select the initial Address Council
The term of Address Council members will be 3 years. Casual
vacancies caused by resignation of a member may be filled by the
original appointing RIR for a term that expires at the next RIR
Policy meeting. The position is then to be filled according to
the selection procedures of Section 2 (a). Each Signing RIR must
notify the Address Council Secretary and ICANN when it changes
its members. (Initial terms will be 1, 2 and 3 years to provide
initial conditions for staggered terms.)
(c) Action by Address Council. Unless otherwise specified in this
MOU, all actions of the Address Council shall be taken by
majority vote of the total number of members. Action may be
taken at any meeting of the Address Council, which may be by
telephone conference in which all participants can hear the
others. Meetings of the Address Council may be called by
request of any three members of the Address Council, with at
least 45 days for physical meetings or fifteen (15) days for
telephonic or other electronic meetings prior written notice to
each of the other members. In order to conduct business at any
meeting of the Address Council, at least a quorum of members
must be present; a quorum shall be present when at least
majority of the members of the Address Council are present, and
when such members represent at least 2/3rds of the Signing RIRs.
(d) Web Site. The Address Council will arrange for the
establishment and maintenance of a Web site devoted to ASO
activities and news (the ICANN/ASO Web Site).
(e) Secretary. The Address Council will have a Secretary to
coordinate administrative matters relating to the ASO and
Address Council. The Secretary's term of office shall be one
year. The position of Secretary will rotate among the Signing
RIRs, with the initial Secretary to be selected by the APNIC,
and subsequent Secretaries to be appointed by a randomly
selected Signing RIR that has not appointed the Secretary in the
(f) No Compensation. Neither the Secretary, nor any Address Council
member or designated ICANN Board member shall be entitled to any
compensation or reimbursement of expenses from the ASO. The ASO
shall not be required to obtain insurance coverage for, or to
indemnify, the members of the Address Council or persons acting
in any other capacity by or for the ASO.
(g) Observers from emerging registries. ICANN may, at its choice,
designate an individual from each potential RIR that, in the
opinion of ICANN, is likely to be approved by ICANN as a formal
RIR within a reasonable period of time as an observer on the
Address Council. Any such observers act as normal AC members in
all ways except that they do not vote.
(4) ICANN Directors.
(a) The Address Council will appoint Directors to the ICANN Board of
Directors in accordance with the By-laws of ICANN, for such
terms as are specified by such By-laws. ICANN will notify the
Protocol Council of any vacancies on the ICANN Board which may
be filled by the Protocol Council.
(b) Ninety days prior to the General Assembly meeting ICANN and the
Address Council will conduct an open call for nominations for
any potentially open ASO seats on the ICANN board. The list of
nominees generated by this call will be posted on the ICANN/ASO
web site and retained until the next General Assembly meeting
and will be included in the list of individuals that the Address
Council will consider to fill any openings which arise in the
ASO seats on the ICANN board. In addition, each RIR signatory to
the MOU is entitled to nominate candidates by procedures of its
own choosing. ICANN will notify the Address Council when there
are any open positions in the ASO seats on the ICANN board. The
Address Council will then select the ASO appointees to the ICANN
board from among the list of nominees generated by the open call
and the nominees put forth by the RIR signatories.
(c) No more than 1 ASO-appointed Director may come from the same
geographic region. (This MOU uses regions as defined in the
(d) No ASO-appointed Director may serve simultaneously on the
(e) The Directors appointed by the Address Council will not
represent the ASO on the Board, but will function as full
Directors of ICANN. (By-laws, Art. V, Sec. 8)
(5) Duties of the Address Council.
(a) Advisory Role. The Address Council will advise the Board of
ICANN on matters referred to the Address Council by the ICANN
(b) Policy Development. The ICANN bylaws assign to the ASO the
responsibility for the development of global policies relating
to the following areas:
(i) Definition of global policies for the distribution and
registration of Internet address space (currently IPv4 and
(ii) Definition of global policies for the distribution and
registration of identifiers used in Internet inter-domain
routing (currently BGP autonomous system numbers); and
(iii) Definition of global policies concerning the part of the
DNS name space which is derived from the Internet address
space and the inter-domain routing identifiers (currently
in-addr.arpa and ip6.int).
The ASO advises ICANN on the operation of the DNS root name
servers with regard to the subset of the DNS name space
Specifically this responsibility is limited to the above and
does not extend to the business practices or local policies of
the RIRs except as needed to ensure that the RIRs meet the
approved criteria for ICANN approved RIRs. The RIRs are
responsible to their own members and in most cases this must be
their prime responsibility.
Normally, proposals for global policies within the area of the
ASO's responsibility will be developed within the RIRs and
forwarded to the Address Council for their consideration. In
special circumstances the ICANN board can forward a request to
develop a new global policy or to review an existing global
policy within the area of the ASO's responsibility to the
In addition the Address Council may accept, for consideration,
proposals for changes to global IP address policy from any
In all cases when the Address Council reviews proposals for new
global policies or proposed modification to existing policies in
this area it will first solicit the opinions of all of the RIR
signatories of the MOU and of the public. The Address Council
will weigh the results of these solicitations in its
deliberations to determine if it will approve the proposal. At
least two thirds of the members of the Address Council must
support a proposal for the proposal to be accepted and forwarded
to the ICANN board for its consideration.
In any case where the ICANN board has requested that the Address
Council develop a new policy within the area of the ASO's
responsibility, the Address Council will forward that request to
the RIR signatories of the MOU. The RIRs will then be given a
reasonable time to propose policies to address the request from
ICANN. Any resulting policy will be evaluated as described
above. If a RIR decides, after reviewing the request, that the
request is unreasonable, it can report that opinion to the
Address Council. If the Address Council, after reviewing the
responses, decides that the request is unreasonable or
inadvisable, it can report that opinion to the ICANN board along
with the reasons that the Address Council reached that
(6) Annual Open Meeting. (General Assembly)
(a) The Address Council will periodically host an open meeting
("General Assembly") for promoting discussion and receiving
input regarding the work of the ASO.
(b) A General Assembly meeting will be held at least once per year,
and will permit open participation by all interested
(c) Each annual open meeting will be held in conjunction with a RIR
Policy meeting of one of the RIRs that have signed the MOU, with
an effort to hold no two  consecutive meetings in the same
(7) Open Proceedings and Documents.
(a) Communications between ICANN and the ASO. All communications
between ICANN and the ASO will be made public on the ASO web
(b) All discussions regarding ASO policy formation will be conducted
on or reported on a publicly-archived mailing list accessible
through the ASO web site. The schedule for the ASO meetings will
be posted 90 days in advance of the meeting date. The agenda for
the Address Council and annual open meetings will be posted on
the ASO web site at least 30 days before the meetings. The
minutes from all ASO meetings will be publicly posted on the ASO
web site within 30 days of the meeting. In the unlikely event
that the policy formation discussions involve confidential
commercial data that was presented in an address allocation
process the above disclosures must be done in a way to protect
the confidentially of that data.
(8) Relationship between individual RIRs and ICANN.
Nothing in this MOU is to be read as giving the ASO or the Address
Council any role in the contracts between individual RIRs and ICANN.
(9) Review of MOU.
The MOU signatories will periodically review the results and
consequences of their cooperation under the MOU. When appropriate,
the signatories will consider the need for improvements in the MOU
and make suitable proposals for modifying and updating the
arrangements and scope of the MOU
(10) Regional IP Address Registries
ICANN will develop requirements and policies for the approval of
additional RIRs. This MOU assumes that the requirements will
include at least:
(1) That the proposed RIR has demonstrated the broad support of the
Internet service providers (ISPs) in its proposed region of
(2) That the region of coverage meets the scale to be defined by
ICANN considering the need to avoid global address space
(3) That the proposed RIR's membership includes a significant
percentage of the ISPs within the RIR's region of coverage
which would get their address assignments from the proposed
(4) That the proposed RIR has clearly defined procedures open to
all interested parties for the development of its own IP
address assignment policies and for the IP address assignment
policies that the RIR might recommend to the Address Council
for consideration as global policies.
(5) That these policies include holding at least one annual policy
development meeting open to all interested parties.
(6) That the proposed RIR has clearly defined procedures open to
all interested parties regarding ensuring fair representation
of constituents within the region of coverage in the policy
(7) That the proposed RIR has demonstrable capability to
effectively implement the RIR global policies referred to in
section 5b of this MOU for the entire RIR's proposed region of
The initial signatories to this MOU shall include ICANN and the
Signing RIRs who have signed below. Additional signatories to this
MoU shall be limited to be only those bodies that have been duly
approved by ICANN to operate as an RIR.
This MOU does not constitute any of the parties as a partner, joint
venture, agent, principal or franchisee of any other party. The
waiver of any provision of this MOU on any occasion shall not
constitute a waiver for purposes of any other occasion. No party
may transfer or assign any interest, right or obligation arising
under this MOU without the prior written consent of each other
party to this MOU.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, this Memorandum of Understanding is executed this XX
day of XXXX 1999 by the undersigned, acting through their duly
INTERNET CORPORATION FOR ASSIGNED NAMES AND NUMBERS
- Second Draft: 6 October 1999
- Final version: 18 October 1999