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What’s an RIR and why does it matter?


You may have noticed our email earlier this month about the APNIC EC Election. But what exactly is APNIC and why does it matter to you? 

APNIC (Asia Pacific Network Information Centre) is the Regional Internet Registry (RIR) for the Asia Pacific Region. It is one of 5 such registries across the world. RIRs manage the allocation and registration of Internet number resources (IP addresses and Autonomous System Numbers) in their respective regions. Nothing gets on the Internet without an IP address connected to an Autonomous System, and each must be unique, though we have ways of sharing them given the number of devices connected to the Internet now exceeds the number of IPv4 addresses. 

Through this technical coordination, RIRs play a very important role in supporting the infrastructure of the Internet, as well as in Internet Governance. As independent, not-for-profit, and member-based organisations, RIRs operate for the benefit of the wider Internet community.  

In recent times, the global Internet community has witnessed other RIRs struggle to operate particularly in the context of the fight over limited IPv4 addresses. As the Internet continues to evolve to heights much greater than anyone imagined at its conception with more and more people jumping online, protecting the sound management of Internet resources and promoting Internet policies is critical to ensure the resilience and continued growth of the Internet.  

Although the overarching Number Resource Organisation (NRO) serves as a coordinating body for the 5 RIRs, each RIR distributes resources according to its own policies that have been developed in its respective region via open, bottom-up policy development processes.  This bottom-up governance structure is to respect the autonomy of each region. As such, the constitution of the Executive Council (EC) of an RIR is very important to how it functions.  

With the voting for the APNIC EC election now open, IAA encourages all members who are also members of APNIC to utilise your vote carefully and wisely to ensure the protection of the Internet community. Voting closes 14:30 AWST (UTC +8) Thursday 2 March 2023.  


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