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Internet Administrative Organisations

Internet standards are developed and administered seperately, by distinct organisations. The major organisations responsible for administering core Internet standards are listed here.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA)

ICANN is the non-profit corporation responsible for the global coordination of the Internet's system of unique identifiers. These include domain names (like .org, .museum and country codes like .UK), as well as the addresses used in a variety of Internet protocols. Read more on the ICANN web site...

The responsibility for IP address space allocation, protocol parameter assignment, domain name system management, and root server system management functions was previously performed under US Government contract by IANA (and other entities). IANA is now a function of ICANN rather than an seperate organisation. Read more on the IANA web site...

The Number Resource Organization (NRO) and the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs)

The NRO was formed by the RIRs to formalise their co-operative efforts, to protect the unallocated Internet number resource pool, to promote and protect the bottom-up policy development process, and to act as a focal point for Internet community input into the RIR system. Read more on the NRO web site...

The RIRs are responsible for distributing, registering, and managing Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, Autonomous System Numbers (ASNs), and related resources in their respective regions. The five RIRs and their regions are:

  • AfriNIC - Africa
  • APNIC - Asia Pacific
  • ARIN - Canada, many Caribbean and North Atlantic islands, and the United States
  • LACNIC - Latin America, Caribbean
  • RIPE NCC - Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Central Asia