[ppml] Policy Proposal 2005-9: 4-Byte AS Number

Bill Darte billd at cait.wustl.edu
Tue Dec 20 09:17:05 EST 2005

That is what this forum is for or course to get feedback IN ADVANCE of
assessing consensus on this forum and at the next regularly schedule Public
Policy meeting.

I might add related to your remarks below...that dots appear within network
identifiers today and do serve as a fundamental service to
intelligibility... /16 for instance... and since two 16 bit
AS entities are being stuck together or the original 16 bits is be appended
by another 16 (if you prefer)...the dot serves the same purpose and doesn't
fundamentally alter its definition in its format....

According to Wikipedia...
A unique AS number (or ASN) is allocated to each AS for use in BGP routing.
With BGP, AS numbers are important because the ASN uniquely identifies each
network on the internet.  AS numbers are assigned by the IANA, which also
allocate IP addresses, to regional internet registries (RIRs) in blocks. The
local RIR then assigns an AS number to an entity from the block assigned by
the IANA. Entities wishing to receive an ASN must complete the application
process of their local RIR and be approved before being assigned an ASN.

Note that they refer to an IP address as an entity...which is of course
subdivided into dotted decimal for convenience and they refer to AS numbers
as an entity which could be dotted decimal as well..... what difference


> When the dot notation was introduced for IP addresses,
> they marked an important bit boundary that was a fundamental 
> part of the IP address. The 32 bit identifier was divided 
> into a NETWORK portion and a HOST portion. This division was 
> done on one of three 8-bit boundaries depending on address 
> class and therefore there are 3 dots in an IP 
> address marking the boundaries.
> AS numbers are simple integers with no such internal
> structure.
> --Michael Dillon
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