The RIRs are responsible for assigning IP addresses. They first emerged in the 1990s for the regions of North and South Americal (ARIN), Europe and Africa (RIPE NCC) and Asia (APNIC). In the 2000s, the RIRs for Africa (AFRINIC) and Latin America (LACNIC) were established.
Each of the RIRs is independent and coordinates its policies through a “Number Resource Organization (NRO)”. The NRO also serves as an Address Supporting Organization (ASO) in the ICANN network.
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