ASO Proposal submission to ICANN

Kim Hubbard kimh at
Fri Jul 2 16:20:44 EDT 1999

Below is the ASO proposal and cover letter developed by the boards of ARIN,
APNIC and RIPE.  After a suitable member comment period, the proposal will
be submitted to ICANN.

If you wish to discuss this please send your comments to arin-discuss at


Kim Hubbard

Esther Dyson
ICANN Interim Board

Dear Ms Dyson,

We have pleasure in submitting to the Internet Corporation for
Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) the attached proposal relating to
the formation of an ICANN Address Supporting Organization (ASO).

This proposal is being submitted to ICANN by the existing Regional
Internet Registries (RIRs), namely the American Registry for Internet
Numbers (ARIN), the Reseaux IP Europeens Network Coordination Centre
(RIPE NCC), and the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC).

The proposal is the outcome of consideration of the role of ICANN and
the role of the ASO and the Address Council undertaken by the RIRs,
their Boards or Executive Committees, and their membership at large,
and also includes the incorporation of comment arising from a series
of ICANN-sponsored public ASO discussion meetings through the past 12

There are a number of aspects of this proposal that we would like to
draw to ICANN's attention.

 - The proposal does not include the incorporation of a separate
   entity for the ASO. The mechanism proposed to establish the ASO is
   by the means of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between ICANN
   and the set of ICANN-approved RIRs. In this we are following the
   organisational structures adopted with the DNS Support Organization
   and the Protocol Support Organization.

 - The proposal envisions the ability of ICANN to approve further RIRs
   in the future, and proposes that such bodies add their signature to
   the ASO-enabling MoU following ICANN's approval. An appendix to the
   proposal indicates a number of criteria that we consider to be
   integral to an adopted process of approving further RIRs.

 - The proposal establishes an Address Council as the means by which
   the ASO will conduct its business, and proposes that each RIR
   signatory to the MoU be permitted to appoint 2 individuals to this

- The Address Council is responsible for the appointment of three
  Directors to the ICANN Board.

There are a number of salient features of this proposal that we would
also like to draw to ICANN's attention.

1. Open and Transparent operation of the ASO

 - The Address Council will host a General Assembly once per year, and
   will permit open participation to all interested individuals.

 - All discussions of ASO business will be reported on a publicly
   archived mailing list.

 - Meeting announcements, agendas, and minutes will be made publicly
   available in a timely fashion.

 - Address Council members shall be selected following an open call
   for nominations of interested individuals to serve on the Address

 - All communications between ICANN and the ASO will be made public on
   the ICANN/ASO web site.

2. Separation of the functions of policy determination and implementation

 - No member of staff of an RIR is eligible to serve on the Address
   Council or to be appointed to the ICANN Board

 - We note that policies of the existing RIRs are not determined by
   the staff of the RIRs, but are set by the members of the RIRs. The
   individuals involved in this process of membership-determined
   policy are not chosen through some random or arbitrary process, but
   are the duly designated representatives of their respective
   companies. Furthermore, these RIR policies include the holding of
   at least one annual policy development meeting, open to all
   interested parties to both observe and comment. In delegating
   functions and responsibilities to RIRs within the ASO, control of
   any of the ASO functions is not being passed to a closed or
   unrepresentative process.

 - We recommend such measures as being a vital component of ICANN
   consideration relating to the approval of any additional RIRs.

3. Industry participation

 - We note that no additional means of Internet Service Provider (ISP)
   representation is provided within the proposed ASO structure. Given
   the open nature of participation in the process of policy
   determination, and the structure of the RIRs as a industry-based
   membership organisation, we are of the view that industry is well
   represented and, importantly, well balanced, within the RIR policy
   forums.  Furthermore, we are of the view that any additional
   measures of inclusion of additional representation of any particular
   industry sector within the ASO has the potential to bias the
   operation of the ASO to assume positions supportive of only one
   sector of a broader constituency of consumers of Internet address

4. At Large Participation

 - We note the explicit provision for At Large participation in the
   affairs of ICANN is through the selection of members of the Board
   by the At Large ICANN constituency. We also note the ability of
   interested individuals to observe and participate in the activities
   of the ASO and the Address Council through the General Assembly,
   the open nominations process, and through the open policy
   development meetings hosted by the RIRs. In consideration of
   these factors, no specific At Large membership of the Address
   Council is included in this proposal. However, we note that this
   does not preclude the processes adopted by the RIRs to appoint At
   Large nominations to the Address Council.

In conclusion, we recommend this ASO proposal to ICANN, and invite
both ICANN and all other interested parties to consider and comment on
this proposal through the adopted ICANN procedures.

Kind Regards,

The boards of APNIC, ARIN and RIPE NCC

Proposal for a MOU-based ASO

ICANN Address Supporting Organization

1. Definition of the ASO. 

a. Purpose.

The Address Supporting Organization (ASO) will be a consensus-based
advisory body within the ICANN framework.

b. Components.

The ASO will establish an "Address Council" and host an annual open meeting
(known as the "General Assembly" described below).

c. Creation through a Memorandum of Understanding.

Arrangements regarding the ASO are to be reflected in a Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU) among ICANN and the group of ICANN approved Regional IP
address Registries (RIR). RIRs will be approved by ICANN according to a set
of objective, published criteria. (see Appendix A) After ICANN has accepted
a proposal for an ICANN ASO, including the RIR criteria, a meeting, open to
all ICANN approved RIRs will be held to develop the MOU. 

Additional RIRs may join in signing the MOU after the first MOU has been
ratified by the existing RIRs and after they have been approved by ICANN.
2. The Address Council. 

a. Members. 

Each RIR signatory of the MOU will appoint two [2] individuals to the
Address Council by means of their own choosing. No individual can serve on
the Address Council and be on the staff of a RIR at the same time.

b. Term. 

The term of Address Council members will be 2 years. Removal will be
pursuant to procedures established through the MOU. (Initial terms will be
1 and 2 years to provide initial conditions for staggered terms.)

c. Powers/Duties of the Address Council.

i   Appointment of ICANN Directors.

The Address Council is responsible for the selection of three [3] Directors
to the ICANN Board (By-laws, Art. V, Sec. 4(iii)). The initial directors
would have terms of 1, 2 and 3 years (By-laws, Art. V, Sec. 9(d) 

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 deadline for this call for nominations
will be no earlier than 60 days after the call, and no later than the day
prior to the forthcoming General Assembly meeting. The nominees generated
by this call will be 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 develop 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 nominations
generated by the open call and the nominees put forth by the RIR
signatories by a means of its own choosing.

ii  Qualifications of ICANN Directors. 

No more than 1 of the ASO-appointed Directors may come from the same
geographic region.

iii Role of ICANN Directors. 

The ASO-appointed Directors will not represent the ASO on the Board, but
will function as full Directors of ICANN. (By-laws, Art. V, Sec. 8)

iv  Advisory Role. 

The Address Council will advise the Board of ICANN on matters referred to
the Address Council by the ICANN Board. As per the ICANN By-laws, only
matters relating to the specific responsibilities of the ASO will be so
referred.  This advice will be developed as detailed below for other

d. Address Policy Development. 

The ICANN bylaws assign to the ASO the responsibility for the development
of global policies relating to the following areas:

- distribution and registration of Internet address space (currently IPv4
and IPv6);

- distribution and registration of identifiers used in Internet
inter-domain routing (currently BGP autonomous system numbers); and

- that part of the DNS name space which is derived from the Internet
address space and the inter-domain routing identifiers (currently and

The ASO advises ICANN on the operation of the DNS root name servers with
regard to the subset of the DNS name space mentioned above.

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 Address Council.

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 their 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, it can report that opinion to the ICANN board
along with the reasons that the Address Council reached that conclusion.

3. Annual Open Meeting. (General Assembly)  

a. Hosting an open meeting. 

The Address Council will periodically host an open meeting ("General
Assembly") for promoting discussion and receiving input regarding the work
of the ASO. A General Assembly meeting will be held once per year, and will
permit open participation by all interested individuals. 

This General Assembly will be held in conjunction with a major meeting of
one of the RIRs that have signed the MOU, with an effort to hold no two [2]
consecutive meetings in the same geographic region. 

b. Selection of Address Council Members. 

Ninety days prior to each General Assembly, ICANN and the Address Council
shall make an open call for nominations to any potential vacancies in the
Address Council. The results of this call will be forwarded to each RIR
signatory to the MOU for their information.  Each RIR signatory to the ASO
MOU will be entitled to select two [2] members of the Address Council by
means of its own choosing. The terms of the appointees will be determined
by the appointing RIR.

4. Open Proceedings and Documents. 

a. Communications between ICANN and the ASO. 

All communications between ICANN and the ASO will be made public on the
ICANN/ASO web site. 

b. ASO Proceedings. 

All discussions of ASO business will be conducted on or reported on a
publicly-archived mailing list accessible through the ICANN/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 ICANN/ASO web site at least 30 days before the
meetings.  The minutes from all ASO meetings will be publicly posted on the
ICANN/ASO web site within 30 days of the meeting.

5. 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

6. Recognition. 

ICANN will officially recognize the ASO described in this memo as the ASO
under the ICANN By-laws Art. 6, Sec. 3

Appendix A - requirements for consideration as a ICANN-approved RIR 

ICANN will develop requirements and policies for the approval of RIRs.
This proposal 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 coverage.

2) That the region of coverage of the proposed RIR 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 RIR.

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 demonstrable capability to effectively
implement the RIR global policies referred to in section 2d of this
proposal for the entire RIR's proposed region of coverage.

7) That the introduction of a new RIR must be based on a "Sound Business
Plan".  The plan must be reviewed by ICANN and by the existing RIRs.  The
process for creating a new RIR must be included in the MOU.

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