How are global IP addresses assigned?

To know how IP addresses are assigned, we need to first understand an agency-the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). It is an organization under the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), mainly responsible for the global allocation of IP addresses and autonomous system numbers, the management and protocol allocation of the DNS root zone.

Regional Internet registries allocate IP addresses

In terms of IP address administration, to ensure fair allocation of IP addresses across regions, IANA will first allocate different IP block pools to 5 Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) according to global policy.

  • ARIN (American Registry for Internet Numbers): including Canada, USA, and some Caribbean Islands
  • APNIC (Asia Pacific Network Information Centre): including Asia/Pacific Region
  • RIPE NCC (Réseaux IP Européens Network Coordination Centre): including Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia
  • LACNIC (Latin America and Caribbean Network Information Centre): including Latin America and some Caribbean Islands
  • AFRINIC (African Network Information Centre): including Africa Region

Then, organizations in need of IP addresses apply to these RIRs who coordinate the allocation.

Guidelines for Chinese users to apply for IP addresses

Chinese users who want to obtain an IP address can apply to APNIC in two ways:

One way: become a member of APNIC and obtain an IP address directly from APNIC. In this way, you must pay an annual fee ranging from US $2500 to US $10000 to APNIC, and the smaller the size of the member, the more difficult it is to apply for the address.

The other way: join an IP address allocation alliance. In this way, you must pay a certain annual fee to APNIC through the allocation alliance convener and pay the membership fee to the allocation alliance.

As a national NIC, China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) became a large member of APNIC in January 1997 and established an allocation alliance as the convener, which is called the CNNIC allocation alliance.

It is eligible for any organizations in China as long as they have certain demand for IP addresses and possibly ongoing development to apply to join the CNNIC allocation alliance. If the demand is rare, detailed application information can also be submitted. CNNIC will introduce them to a suitable alliance member unit or other ISP so that the unit can apply the required IP address. Member units that are geographically close and have business links, or units that cooperate voluntarily, can jointly apply for membership in the alliance.

Therefore, any organizations or individuals can obtain use right of IP address from an ISP as long as they pay the specified fee. However, the IP address allocation of each organization should be planned and connected to the Internet uniformly.

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