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Proposed Global Policy for Autonomous System Numbers - Final Call for Comments and Background Report

On 22 July 2010, the Chair of the Address Supporting Organization Address Council (ASO AC) forwarded a Proposed Global Policy for Autonomous System Numbers, ASNs, for ratification by the ICANN Board. This policy proposal modifies the existing Global Policy for Autonomous System Numbers, ASNs, by extending the period during which the RIRs can operate two separate pools of numbers until 31 December 2010. An Autonomous System Number (ASN) is a number used to uniquely identify a network connected to more than one other network that also controls its own routing policy. The current policy supports the introduction of 32-bit ASNs with a timeline during which RIRs can operate distinct pools of 16-bit and 32-bit ASNs. That timeline ended on 31 December 2009 and requires ICANN to now treat all ASNs as coming from a single pool of numbers.

The reason for the proposal is that some equipment and software vendors have been slower to offer support for 32-bit ASNs than was originally anticipated by the addressing community. This may create a problem in case a new network needs a 16-bit ASN that the relevant RIR cannot assign as its pool of 16-bit ASNs is empty, nor can the RIR request more such ASNs from IANA as the RIR still has an ample supply of 32-bit ASNs. By extending the period during which RIRs can operate distinct pools of 16-bit and 32-bit ASNs, the RIRs will be able to make sure they have sufficient 16-bit ASNs to meet the needs within their regions while vendors complete their implementations of 32-bit ASN capabilities.

For the full text of the proposal, click here [PDF, 69 KB].

The development of Global Internet Number Resource Policies is the subject of a Memorandum of Understanding between the ASO/NRO and ICANN. There are also specific ICANN Board Review Procedures for handling global policy proposals in this context. In line with the procedures, ICANN is issuing a 21-day final call for public comments on the proposal, closing on 13 August 2010.

Click here to view comments on the Proposed Global Policy for Autonomous System Numbers.

Click here to submit comments on the Proposed Global Policy for Autonomous System Numbers.


The ASN global policy proposal has progressed through the bottom-up policy development processes of the Regional Internet Registries since spring 2009, as described in a series of "early awareness" reports posted on the ICANN website. See The table below describes the development steps within each RIR for the proposal. Hyperlinks are included for easy access. As of 24 May 2010, all RIRs had formally adopted the proposal. On 13 July 2010, the Executive Council of the Number Resource Organization sent the final version of the proposal to the ASO AC for procedural verification according to established procedures and subsequent forwarding to the ICANN Board for ratification. On 22 July, the ASO AC resolved to forward the proposal to the ICANN Board.







Proposal Introduced

28 Aug 2009 list message

13 July 2009 list message/prop-074

29 May 2009

list message/

prop 89

31 Aug 2009

prop 2009-6

1 Jun 2009 list messageLAC-2009-08

27 May 2009 prop 2009-7

Discussion list

Resource Policy Discussion List


Public Policy Mailing List

Politicas – Policy Mailing List

Address Policy WG

Public Forum

AfriNIC 11

21-27 Nov 2009 (consensus)

APNIC 28 24 -28 Aug 2009 (consensus)


21 - 23 Oct 2009

Expedite process, not requiring a meeting

RIPE-58 (informally - process not requiring a meeting)

Final Call for Comments

2- 17 Dec 2009

31 Aug - 26 Oct 2009

28 Oct - 13 Nov 2009

31 July - 29 Sept 2009 Consensus call 7-21 Oct

19 Aug - 16 Sept 2 009

Approval by RIR

Adopted by the AfriNIC Board on 24 May 2010

Endorsed by APNIC EC 18 Nov 2009

Adopted by ARIN Board of Trustees 18 Dec 2009

Ratified by the LACNIC Board 22 Feb 2010

Accepted by the RIPE Community 28 Sept 2009

Link to document

Policy (Amendment ) AFPUB-2009-ASN-001


Proposal 2009-6

LAC-2009-08 (EN)

LAC-2009-08 (ES)

LAC-2009-08 (PT)

Policy RIPE-480



Link to Policy Development Process

Policy Development Process

Policy Development Process

Policy Development Process

Policy Development Process

Policy Development Process

Information on other Global Addressing Policies can be found at

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