The American Registry for Internet Numbers is an essential body in the architecture of today's Internet. Keep reading to learn more about this Regional Internet Registry.
The American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) is the primary non-profit corporation that manages the registration of numerous blocks of IP addresses to North American Internet Service Providers (ISPs). More specifically, it does this in the US, Canada, Antarctica and many islands of the Caribbean.
ARIN is one of five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) in the world that work with ISPs in their specific regions. The other four RIRs and their respective areas of service are:
In the early days of the internet, the current system with Regional Internet Registries wasn’t necessary. Simply because there weren’t as many internet number resources as there are today. For a time, it was even enough for one man to perform the job of the entire IANA, plus the five regional registries.
However, by the 1990s, the internet grew enough to make IP registration tasks much more cumbersome. Additional management was necessary. As a result of that, in 1992, the concept of a Regional Internet Registry was created. RIPE NCC was the first RIR to start operating.
ARIN’s history begins later as this specific RIR was formed on December 22, 1997. Before ARIN took over the various tasks surrounding IP numbers, the regions that ARIN manages today were governed according to the policies set by the Internet Engineering Task Force.
When ARIN began, it was established in Virginia, where its headquarters remain today. The Executive Board also started operating with the responsibility of acting as the governing body of ARIN. The current chair is Paul Andersen, and the President and CEO is John Curran.
Interestingly, the American registry served more regions in the past, but that changed twice, first in 2002 and then in 2005. LACNIC took over South America, Central America, Mexico and parts of the Caribbean in 2002, and AFRINIC took over Sub-Saharan Africa in 2005.
The American Registry for Internet Numbers is an integral part of the modern internet ecosystem. Being one of the five Regional Internet Registries globally, it plays a vital role in the allocation, assignment and transfer of all internet numbers for its region. Without ARIN, ISPs couldn’t assign IP numbers in the same seamless way they currently do.
As long as the American Registry for Internet Numbers is here to provide IP registration services and all other organizational, policy-making and education tasks it offers, the internet on the North American continent will continue functioning like a well-oiled machine.