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Regional Internet Registries to Appeal for IPv6 Investment at OECD Conference on “The Future of the Internet Economy”

oecd ipv6 itac press release internet governance nro news

Korea, 18th June, 2008 – The Number Resource Organization (NRO), which is made up of the world's five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs), AfriNIC, APNIC, ARIN, LACNIC and the RIPE NCC, has issued an appeal for investment in Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) infrastructure. The global RIR community will be represented by the NRO at the June OECD Ministerial Meeting in Seoul, Korea, where it will support this urgent call.

The RIRs are responsible for managing the allocation, assignment and registration of Internet number resources (IPv4 addresses, IPv6 addresses and Autonomous System (AS) Numbers).

With approximately 85% of all available IPv4 Internet addresses already in use by May 2008, experts predict that the remaining stock of unallocated IPv4 addresses will be consumed by around 2011. This may have an impact on new Internet users and users of Internet devices that are not IPv6 enabled. In contrast, the pool of available IPv6 numbers will exceed 340 billion billion billion.

Internet addresses are allocated on an 'as-needed' basis. Firstly, they are allocated to the RIRs from a central pool and then each RIR distributes them within their region. This system prevents any one country from running out of addresses significantly before its neighbours within the same region, and ensures that the supply to all regions is maintained for as long as possible.

Geoff Huston, Chief Scientist at APNIC will call for a significant acceleration of investment in the infrastructure vital for effective IPv6 adoption, as part of his speech on Internet industry challenges:
“At present, only a small percentage of the Internet infrastructure supports IPv6. Significant investment in the infrastructure of the network is required to enable the transition from IPv4 to IPv6. The cost of migrating the Internet infrastructure to IPv6 is significant when considering the global scope of the task, but the cost of not making this investment will end up being far higher. And, ultimately, its the end user population who will have to bear this cost. The longer this investment in IPv6 deployment is deferred the greater the risk of costly fractures in the fabric of the network, and additional costs being incurred.”

Axel Pawlik, Managing Director of the RIPE NCC states: “IPv6 is vital to the Internet economy. In order to sustain this rapidly growing, global industry, we urge all stakeholders to help accelerate the widespread deployment of IPv6. We have already seen the EU make a positive declaration of intent regarding IPv6 planning and we are confident that IPv6 space will provide a platform for innovation in IP-based services and applications as long as the infrastructure is in place.'

Tarek Mohamed Kamel, Minister for the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Egypt, is speaking alongside Geoff Huston at the OECD Ministerial Meeting. Kamel comments: “The current dialogue on IPv6 between global governments, business leaders, technical experts and academics is crucial to ensure that users around the world continue to benefit from the innovation that new infrastructure and new Internet space will bring. Our efforts to ensure the free and open access attributed to the development of the Internet must be continued so that we can fully realise the benefits in the near future.”

Notes to Editors

About the Number Resource Organization (NRO)

The NRO exists to protect the pool of unallocated Internet numbers (IP addresses and AS numbers) and serves as a coordinating mechanism for the five RIRs to act collectively on matters relating to the interests of RIRs.

About the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs)

Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) are independent, not-for-profit membership organisations that support the infrastructure of the Internet through technical coordination. There are five RIRs in the world today. Currently, the Internet Assigned Numbers Association (IANA) allocates blocks of IP addresses and ASNs, known collectively as Internet number resources, to the RIRs, who then distribute them to their members within their own specific service regions. RIR members include Internet Service Providers (ISPs), telecommunications organisations, large corporations, governments, academic institutions, and industry stakeholders, including end users.

The RIR model of open, transparent participation has proven successful at responding to the rapidly changing Internet environment. Each RIR holds one to two open meetings per year, as well as facilitating online discussion by the community, to allow the open exchange of ideas from the technical community, the business sector, civil society, and government regulators.
The five RIRs are:
AfriNIC - Africa region
APNIC - Asia and Pacific region
ARIN - Canada, many Caribbean and North Atlantic islands, and the United States
LACNIC - Latin America and parts of the Caribbean
RIPE NCC - Europe, Parts of Asia and the Middle East

Each RIR performs a range of critical functions including:

  • The reliable and stable allocation of Internet number resources (IPv4, IPv6 and AS Number resources)
  • The responsible storage and maintenance of this registration data
  • The provision of an open, publicly accessible database where this data can be accessed
  • RIRs also provide a range of technical and coordination services for the Internet community.

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