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NRO: What is it and what does it do?

Updated: Aug 16, 2023

What is NRO?

The Number Resource Organization (NRO) was established in 2003 to serve as a coordinating body for the Regional Internet Registries, which are currently AFRINIC, APNIC, ARIN, LACNIC, and RIPE NCC. These organizations are in charge of overseeing the regional distribution of Internet number resources, such as Internet Protocol (IP) addresses and Autonomous System Numbers.

The NRO's main objectives are to safeguard the pool of unallocated Internet numbers, advance and defend the bottom-up policy-development methodology for the distribution and management of Internet number resources and serve as a focal point for Internet community input into the Regional Internet Registry (RIR) system. The organization creates statistical reports on the distribution of Internet resource numbers as part of its work.

NRO also participates in international Internet governance processes like the Internet Governance Forum and other regional initiatives, as well as the development of global IP number policies (particularly within the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers - ICANN, where it serves as the Address Supporting Organization (ASO) charged with reviewing and developing recommendations on IP address policy and advising the ICANN Board in this regard).

NRO also carries out outreach and capacity building initiatives on matters pertaining to Internet numbers; one instance of this relates to NRO's initiatives to encourage the switch from IPv4 to IPv6 among global stakeholders.

Memorandum of Understanding

The NRO MoU was signed in 2003 by the four existing RIRs – APNIC, ARIN, LACNIC and the RIPE NCC. AFRINIC signed the MoU in 2005.

In August 2020 the NRO EC signed an addendum to the NRO MoU. In this addendum the NRO EC agrees to

Not to take action that would violate Internet Number Registry System uniqueness.

To take effective measures to promote Internet Number Registry System accuracy.

To publish Internet Number Registry System entries publicly, so as to enable timely global Internet operations.

To cooperate in the provision of consistent, effective global Internet Number Registry Services.

In addition, section 10 of the NRO MOU (“Arbitration”) is hereby amended to allow RIRs to seek Arbitration for disputes over any of the above obligations.

Organizations Within the NRO

NRO consists of the following sub organizations:

- NRO Executive Council,

- NRO Number Council

- NRO Secretariat.

There shall be no compensated employees of the NRO while it remains an unincorporated entity, but RIRs may donate funds, personnel, services and equipment to the NRO at their individual discretion in addition to the provisions for cost sharing in Section 13 of this document. After incorporation, the NRO may employ temporary or permanent staff and incur expenses for services for specific NRO activities or functions, when the RIRs, acting through the CEOs of the RIRs or the Executive Council, have provided written approval for such hiring and expenditures, and have provided adequate funds to meet such expenditures.


The operational office of the NRO shall reside with the NRO Secretariat under the direction of the NRO Executive Council.

NRO Executive Council

NRO Executive Council represents the NRO and its sub organizations in all matters.


NRO Executive Council shall be the sole body empowered to represent the NRO, any of its component entities, and the RIR community in any interaction with any external organization, including any national, international or public sector entity as needed.

The NRO Executive Council shall be solely empowered to:

- Represent the RIRs on issues specifically delegated by the RIRs to the NRO, and

- Commit RIR resources in support of NRO activities, when unanimous agreement by the members of the Executive Council has been reached, to the extent that such resources have been or will be made available by the RIRs.

- NRO Executive Council shall ratify or reject proposed global IP number resource policies. Such decisions shall be based on open and transparent procedures which are ratified by the regional address policy fora.

- NRO Executive Council shall, by unanimous approval of its members, develop procedures for conducting business in a transparent manner in support of their responsibilities and submit these procedures to the Boards of all RIRs to obtain their approval.

NRO Number Council

NRO Number Council shall act in an advisory capacity to the NRO Executive Council with the council's activities described as follows:


- The NRO Number Council shall be responsible for the provision of advice to the Executive Council concerning the ratification of proposed global IP number resource allocation policies.

- The NRO Number Council shall act as a point of consultation to external entities on proposed global IP number resource policies, addressing questions that may be raised concerning such policy proposals, maintaining a dialogue with the entity and the RIRs concerning these proposals as required.

- The NRO Number Council shall develop procedures in an accessible, open, transparent and documented manner for conducting business in support of their responsibilities and submit these procedures to the Executive Council for approval.

NRO Meeting Schedule

Planned meetings (usually via teleconference or face-to-face) include monthly NRO NC meetings, ICANN meetings, APNIC Conferences and participation in the Policy SIG.

Executive Council

The Executive Council of the NRO is composed of the CEOs or Directors from each of the five RIRs. The positions of Chair, Vice Chair/Secretary and Treasurer rotate annually.

NRO consists of the following sub organizations:

Chair: Oscar Robles, LACNIC

Vice-Chair and Secretary: John Curran, ARIN

Treasurer: Paul Wilson, APNIC


Member: Hans Petter Holen, RIPE NCC

The current NRO chair acts as the Empowered Community Decisional Participant and only acts on the consensus of all five members of the NRO Executive Council.


Executive Secretary: German Valdez

Secretariat Support: Laureana Pavón


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