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RIPE: What Is It and What Does It Do?

Updated: Aug 16, 2023

What is RIPE?

RIPE is The regional Internet register (RIR) for portions of Central Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. It's known as RIPE NCC (Réseaux IP Européens Network Coordination Centre). RIPE's main office is in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and a branch office is located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

RIPE is like any RIR, responsible for managing the distribution and registration of Internet number resources (including IPv4 and IPv6 addresses as well as autonomous system numbers) in the areas that RIPE represents.

The coordination of the Internet's technical and administrative aspects is supported by the RIPE NCC. RIPE is a non-profit membership organization with more than 10,000 members, spread over more than 76 nations in its service area.

RIPE NCC is open to joining from any person or organization. Internet service providers (ISPs), telecom organizations, educational institutions, governmental agencies, and regulatory.

RIPE's History

In April 1992, the RIPE NCC launched its activities in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The academic networks EARN and EUnet, which are members of Réseaux Associés pour la Recherche Européenne (RARE), supplied the initial funding. When the Dutch translation of the Articles of Organization was filed with the Amsterdam Chamber of Commerce on November 12, 1997, the RIPE NCC was formally created. In May 1991, the initial RIPE NCC Action Plan was released.

On November 25, 2019, RIPE NCC published the following announcement: "With the last remaining addresses in our accessible pool, we have made our final /22 IPv4 allocation. The supply of IPv4 addresses has now ran out. When allocating IPv4 addresses, RIPE NCC will only accept applications from organizations that have closed, gone out of business, or or from networks that return addresses they no longer require or are closed. Our members (LIRs) will receive these addresses based on where they are on a new waiting list. Also, the message urged support for the rollout of IPv6.

RIPE's Activities

Throughout its service area and beyond, RIPE NCC supports technical coordination of the Internet infrastructure. It engages in a variety of activities in this field, such as:

Resource allotment and registration for Internet numbers (IP addresses and autonomous system numbers)

For a number of reasons, IP address distribution is crucial. Public addresses must be distinct; if a network had two identical internet addresses, network traffic might be sent to the incorrect host. The RIRs guarantee that only one organization receives public speeches. This is carried out by the RIPE NCC for its own service area. IANA assigns blocks of addresses to the RIRs globally, who then pass these addresses on to end users via the LIRs (normally ISPs).

Due to the scarcity of IPv4 addresses, it's crucial to ensure that IP addresses and AS Numbers are only assigned to one user and that the remaining addresses are distributed in a systematic way. Since RIPE Document ripe-498 was published, the RIPE NCC has strictly adhered to the rules established by the RIPE Community for allocating IPv4 numbers. Only a limited number of new IPv4 addresses will be available for allocation by the RIPE NCC because the final /8 block has already been distributed among all the RIRs by IANA.

- Development, operation and maintenance of the RIPE Database.

- Development, operation and maintenance of the RIPE Routing Registry.

- Operation of K-root, one of the world's root name servers.

- Coordination support for ENUM delegations.

- Collection and publication of neutral statistics on Internet development and performance, notable via the RIPE Atlas global measurement network and RIPE state; a web-based interface providing information about IP address space, autonomous system numbers, and related information for hostnames and countries.

RIPE organizational structure

RIPE NCC is made up of:

Members

Members have direct control over the RIPE NCC's operations and offerings. Members are in charge of proposing and choosing candidates for the RIPE NCC executive board, as well as adopting the organization's billing structure and approving its annual financial report. Members also offer feedback and suggestions regarding the RIPE NCC's operations and services.

Executive board

RIPE NCC members nominate and elect the executive board. The board consists of between three and seven members and is responsible for appointing the RIPE NCC's managing director, for the overall financial situation of the RIPE NCC and for keeping records that allow the financial situation of the organization to be evaluated at any time.

RIPE NCC staff

Staff members perform the activities of the RIPE NCC, provide services to its members and provide administrative support to RIPE.

RIPE Databases


RIPE Registry

The IP addresses and AS numbers that were initially assigned to members by the RIPE NCC are registered in the public database known as the RIPE Database. It displays who currently owns which Internet number resources, when the allocations were made, and contact information for those organizations or people. Information in the database must be updated by the organizations or people who own these resources.

RIPE Routing Registry

A portion of the RIPE Database, the RIPE Routing Registry (RR) stores routing data in RPSL. The Internet RR, a group of databases that mirror one another, includes the RIPE RR.

RIPE NCC Charging Fees 2023

The 2023 Charging Scheme was approved by the RIPE NCC membership at the May 2022 General Meeting (GM).


RIPE NCC Charging Scheme 2023

An increase of EUR 150 in the 2023 annual contribution (service fee) per LIR account was approved at the May 2022 GM. This increase was in response to rising economic uncertainty, inflation, and a potential reduction in the number of paying members.

The separate charge of EUR 50 per Independent Internet Number resource assignment will be continued. Resources falling under this charge are IPv4 and IPv6 PI assignments; Any-cast assignments; IPv4 and IPv6 IXP assignments; and Legacy IPv4 resource registrations through a sponsoring LIR. AS Numbers are excluded from this charge.


Charge basis:

per LIR account


Annual fee:

EUR 1,550 per LIR account + (EUR 50 per Independent number resource assignment – see definition above)


Sign-up fee:

EUR 1,000


Billing and Invoicing

The Independent Internet number resource information for members will be determined based on data gathered on 31 December 2022. Invoices will be sent in the first quarter of 2023.

References:

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