Summary of Application's Objectives

This application is structured to promote the following objectives:

Summary of Application's Basic Principles and Features

The basic principles and features of this application are as follows:

Creation of the Address Supporting Organization

Pursuant to Section 3(a) of Article VI of the ICANN Bylaws, the following proposal is filed by applicants to be the Address Supporting Organization (ASO) of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

The ASO will be the principal channel through which the regional address registries and other Internet addressing stakeholders will provide advice and recommendations to the ICANN Board of Directors, encourage private sector entities to observe and work with the regional NICs on addressing issues, and enable the NICs to implement the policies established by the ASO with ICANN and ASO membership oversight. The ASO will be organized on representative democratic principles to ensure that all ASO stakeholders will have an opportunity to express their concerns and interests, especially the regional registries and their commercial customers who are ISPs and large corporate customers. It will maintain the formal institutional relationship with the other supporting organizations (SOs) and will nominate three persons to serve as directors on the ICANN Board of Directors.

ASO Membership

The ASO will be open to any organization or individual that has an interest in IP addressing issues subject to the qualifications hereunder.

Categories of Membership

  1. Registry member. This category will be open to entities designated by the IANA or ICANN as regional address registries that manage and administer IP addresses and related issues. For the purposes of ASO, these registry members currently are three in number and will increase as new regions are added. They are RIPE-NCC, APNIC, and ARIN. Procedures for adding regional registries will be developed by ICANN and the ASO but should, as a general matter, occur quickly as the supporting regional infrastructure develops and regional entities accumulate sufficient administrative experience.

  3. Provider member. This category will be open to commercial or institutional enterprise customers who deal with the regional registries and receive allocations of IP address space from the regional registries. Entities which are members of a registry, or commercial trade organizations which represent providers and enterprises which receive IP address allocations may join this category.

  5. General member. This category will be open to those entities and individuals who (1) do not qualify for the registry or provider membership categories and (2) have a demonstrable involvement in and experience with addressing issues. Such entities or individuals shall be deemed to satisfy these criteria if they own or operate a network , have registered a NIC-handle or provide any other IP network service.
To qualify as a "provider member", an applicant must show that it is a legitimate organization that satisfies the criteria set forth above. The responsibilities and powers of these membership categories are described below in greater detail.

Administrative Staff and Internet Addressing Commission.

The ASO shall create an administrative staff for the purpose of collecting and disseminating comments and information, scheduling meetings, administering the mailing list, conducting day to day communications with members and such other ministerial tasks as may be necessary to ensure normal functional activities. The staff may be paid employees of the regional registries or ASO members or may be hired specifically to help administer the ASO. Administrative staff shall have no independent policy-making authority.

The administrative staff shall report to a five-member Internet Addressing Commission, two of which shall be drawn from the regional registries, two from the provider members, and one from the general members. The Commission shall conduct meetings or hearings, authorize studies and reports, oversee ASO finances and manage such other necessary ministerial functions. It shall not have independent policy-making authority nor will commission members have a vote on policy matters. To ensure that the commission members do not become entrenched and that diverse views will be represented, there will be a regular, periodic turnover of its membership. Commission members shall be elected by their members in a manner to be determined by the ASO.

Setting Internet Addressing Policies

The ASO recognizes a distinction between substantive policies and administrative, or implementation, policies. Substantive policies would include setting new directions for Internet addressing functions or technologies, those having significant commercial value such as existing allocation of addresses and allocation policies, setting criteria for new regional registries, etc. Implementation policies are ministerial in nature and involve carrying out management, or micro, policies. The regional registries are now responsible for implementing normative policies and should retain this function under the ICANN. Setting substantive decisions should involve the entire ASO, particularly registry members and provider members (commercial and enterprise providers and large corporate users) and, to a lesser extent, general members.

Policies should be decided, as far as possible, at annual or biennial ASO general meetings. Policies will be considered adopted only after approval by each category of membership, which shall be by majority of those voting in person or electronically except in the case of the regional registries, for which special provision shall be made. Regional registries constituting the basic ASO membership category shall reach consensus decisions, which are defined as unanimous decisions by the current three (3) regional registries and a super-majority when this number is expanded (three of four or four of five).

Policy recommendations shall be submitted to the ICANN Board for approval accompanied by a "technical impact statement" of the potential operational impact of the policy on registry operations. This statement shall be prepared by ASO staff with the help of the regional registries. In the case of disagreement among the registry, a registry may submit a dissenting "technical impact statement" to accompany the recommendations to the ICANN Board.

Emergency policies and decisions may be decided by the administrative staff and the Addressing Commission without recourse to a meeting answerable to the full ASO and ICANN. In the event of a substantive policy dispute between the ASO and another SO which has an equally legitimate interest in the issue, ICANN shall cast the deciding vote. In the event of a dispute within the ASO between a consensus of the regional registries (as defined in the preceding paragraph) and a majority of the provider and general members, ICANN may cast the deciding vote.

Open, Transparent, and Democratic Procedures

The ASO, its administrative staff and advisory commission, and any other affiliate shall adopt open, transparent and democratic procedures that encourage participation by ASO members in decision-making processes and a representation of legitimate diverse views. The basic democratic principles shall include but not be limited to the following activities:

To the maximum extent feasible, all three Supporting Organizations shall adopt similar rules to promote openness and transparency and participation from diverse interests.

ASO Representatives to the ICANN Board of Directors

The ASO will nominate a slate of directors eligible to serve on the ICANN board and represent the interests of the ASO according to ICANN by laws

No employee of the registries except their top executive officers may serve as an ICANN director in order to promote independent discussion and decision-making. The method of selecting the directors shall be determined at the initial annual ASO meeting and shall continue until specifically changed in an annual meeting.

Ethics and Conflict of Interest

To ensure that there are no or minimal ethical problems and conflicts of interest, there will be appointed by the ASO, with the agreement of the three categories of members, an independent inspector general to ensure that the provisions of this proposal are carried out and that there are no financial or non-financial conflicts of interest. Staff, directors, and commission members shall be required to identify actual or potential conflicts before assuming any official SO responsibility, shall refrain from voting on issues that could benefit that person, and shall conform to general legal guidelines established by the ASO or ICANN.

ASO Finances

The ASO will establish a fee structure that will fully cover its expenses and a contribution to ICANN operations. Fees for individual shall be set at a reasonable and nominal rate. The provider rate shall reflect those services provided through commercial membership. Discounts shall be available to service providers or enterprises which belong to several SOs. Membership fees from the regional registries shall support ICANN's activities and day to day operations of the ASO. The administrative staff at the direction of the commission shall prepare an annual or biennial budget, which shall be approved through procedures prescribed at the initial ASO annual meeting.


This proposal shall be placed on the agenda of the first annual ASO meeting, which shall further prescribe procedures to amend the proposal.


The ASO shall adopt a mechanism for drafting for discussion and approval no later than the first annual meeting its organizational bylaws that are consistent with this proposal. Such bylaws shall prescribe the means to amend this organizing proposal or bylaws through public, open, transparent, and democratic procedures. The bylaws shall be considered adopted upon approval by a majority of each category of membership voting.

Supporting Organizations