Submitted Proposals

Organization: Internet Governance Project
Title :
Regional IP Address Registries: The New Epicenter of Global Internet Governance?
Provide a concise formulation for the proposed workshop theme including its importance and relevance to the IGF.

From 1995 to the present, the domain name system was the center of controversy and institutional change for global Internet governance. As this occurred, the Regional Address Registries (RIRs) quietly evolved into an effective self-governing space that was narrower, less controversial and limited to a relatively small technical and operational community.

Today, RIRs and their management of the Internet’s address resources are becoming more prominent in the debates over global internet governance. It seems inevitable that there will be a more extensive global institutionalization of address allocation, address management and routing.

Several issues are converging to make this happen. The impending exhaustion of the IPv4 address space is forcing RIRs and the Internet industry to handle the legacy address space more carefully and consider new address management techniques, including the possibility of markets or other mechanisms to transfer address resources among users. RIRs and their policies also have impact on the attempt to gain acceptance for IPv6, the new Internet protocol that might be able to overcome the address shortage. The growing demand for a more secure Internet has led to calls to implement secure routing, which also involves RIRs as well as operators. While deploying secure routing protocols could mitigate various attacks, they could have substantial operational impact for ISPs and might give RIRs (or someone else) far more extensive powers over Internet service providers. The call for address markets or secure routing also presumes major improvements in the registration and monitoring capabilities of the RIRs, leading to proposals to upgrade the Whois database of RIRs. Such an upgrade has both positive and negative possibilities – it could become an instrument of more centralized control over suppliers and users, but it could also help prevent address hijacking and provide the administrative infrastructure for an orderly market in IP address resources.

Aside from the substantive policy issues there are issues of process and governance. Up to this point, RIRs have presented themselves to the public as bottom-up, open and effective governance structures. Certainly they have generated less controversy than ICANN. Will these new political and economic pressures undermine or change the RIR governance model? Will governments feel the same urge to intervene in their affairs that has been felt by ICANN? Will RIRs experience more pressure from the general public or industry interests as well? Will more people begin to participate in RIRs as the stakes of their decisions rise or become more contentious?

This workshop will explore these issues, providing a balanced and diverse array of opinions from technical experts, public interest advocates, industry and governments. The goal of the workshop is to heighten awareness of the changing role of RIRs and to promote better understanding of the challenges they will be facing.

We envision a discussion format rather than a series of independent presentations.

Provide the names and affiliations of the panellists you are planning to invite. Describe the main actors in the field and whether you have you approached them about their willingness to participate in proposed workshop.

Main actors in this field would be the Regional Address Registries themselves, Internet service providers (ISPs), end users, governments and security/law enforcement experts

Axel Pawlik or Daniel Karrenberg, RIPE-NCC

Brenden Kuerbis and/or Michel van Eeten, Internet Governance Project

Marc Halbfinger, President, PCCW Global (Internet Service Provider)

Tony Rutkowski, VeriSign

Daniel McPherson, Arbor Networks (secure routing and privacy experts)

Adiel Akplogan, AFRINIC

Representative of XS4all, European Internet Service Provider

Invited but not confirmed:

Government representative from LACNIC region or APNIC region


Provide the name of the organizer(s) of the workshop and their affiliation to various stakeholder groups. Describe how you will take steps to adhere to the multi-stakeholder principle, including geographical diversity.


Workshop organizers:


Internet Governance Project (IGP)

Tentative co-sponsor: AFRINIC

AFRINIC has been asked to co-sponsor but has not confirmed as of the deadline. The co-organizers cover three world regions and represent two distinct stakeholder groups (civil society and technical community). It includes both developing and developed economy perspectives.

Does the proposed workshop provide different perspectives on the issues under discussion?


Yes. Because the issues raised by this panel are future-oriented there are no clear ideological or policy differences yet, but different stakeholder groups do have different perspectives and interests. The panel will include the perspective of ISPs, the RIRs, end users, security experts and governments.

Please explain how the workshop will address issues relating to Internet governance and describe how the workshop conforms with the Tunis Agenda in terms of substance and the mandate of the IGF.


IP Address governance is central to Internet governance, as the availability of addresses and the conditions attached to their use affects the global connectivity of the Internet more directly than any other element of IG. IP addresses are universally perceived as one of the "critical Internet resources" mentioned in the Tunis Agenda.

List similar events you and/or any other IGF workshops you have organized in the past.

IGP have organized 4 IGF workshops in the past and many similar symposia and seminars around the world. See this link

RIPE has also organized many educational and policy oriented seminars. See this link.

Were you part of organizing a workshop last year? Which one? Did you submit a workshop report?

Yes, IGP organized two workshops at Rio. Reports were submitted on both of them.