3.2 Protocols

Il contributo italiano al coordinamento continentale dei Registri
The Italian contribution to European Coordination of Registries
Daniele Vannozzi
  • European regional co-ordination of registries is a necessary and indispensable activity, ensuring good functioning of the Internet network and its baseline services.
  • Its creation and maintenance is based on constant comparisons among sector operators in order to determine common policies and positions on the various topics.
  • The creation of RIPE (Réseaux IP Européens), the first step in European Registries Co-ordination, was the result of careful preparatory work among the Internet operators at the time. RIPE was set up at the end of the 80s and involved the leading European experts in research environments (universities, research centres, etc) and from Eunet (the European UNIX Network) which started activities in 1982 using UUCP connections. Its head office has always been in Amsterdam, initially at the NIKHEF offices (National Institute for Nuclear and High energy physics).
  • The academic and research community in Italia at the time made an important contribution to the creation and start up of RIPE activities, via the participation of technicians, mainly from CNR and INFN: in particular, people like Antonio Blasco Bonito and Enzo Valente during creation.
  • Subsequently there was constant participation at RIPE co-ordination meetings by Antonio Blasco Bonito and Cristina Vistoli.
  • RIPE activities have from the start focused on assignment of IP addresses and correlated activities.
  • It should be remembered that IP addresses were allocated at that time in a centralized way using "InterNIC".
  • With the growth of the Internet in Europe it quickly became clear that a change was required from the centralized model to one on a regional basis and RIPE was the first RIR (Regional Internet Registries) to be set up.
  • At the beginning IP addresses were allocated on the basis of service providers; while initially national "last resort" registries were created for those who needed public IP addresses but still had no active Internet connection.
  • This was carried out for Italy by CNR-CNUCE, through GARR-NIS.
  • The experience of national "last resort" registries did not last, given the continued growth of Internet connections and consequent increasingly central role played by LIR (Local Internet Registries), assigning and managing within their own areas the IP addresses assigned to users.
  • The LIRs still remain central part of RIPE organization; for management of RIR activities RIPE created a non-profit organization embracing all European LIRs, called RIPE-NCC, funded by contributions made annually by every LIR.
  • At present in Italy there are some hundreds of LIRs, belonging almost entirely to companies operating in the commercial sector (Telecom Italy spa, Tiscali spa, Dev Italy srl, etc.) but also including some in the public sector (GARR, CNR, the Tuscany Regional Authority, etc.).
  • RIPE activities were organized after the initial meetings to set up work groups. One of the first to be set up was the DNS group, which in the late 90s led to the creation of a workgroup for management of TLDs, which was later assigned activities known as "CENTR RIPE" and this finally in 1998 led to the creation of CENTR (Council of European National Top Level Domain Registries).
  • CENTR is a non-profit organization founded by the administrators of European ccTLD Registries (country code Top Level Domain), which later came to include some other non-European Registries (e.g.: Japan, Canada, New Zealand, Iran, etc.) in order to discuss questions of management of the ccTLDs, creating a common co-ordination policy to best represent the interests of the community at the various meetings dealing with ccTLD administration, such as ICANN, EU meetings and those of national governments.
  • The principal activities carried out by CENTR in the first phase was to represent the point of view of the ccTLDs at ICANN, in particular the European meetings and especially at discussions connected to the publication of the "green paper" and then the "white paper" by the US Government on Internet governance.
  • Subsequently CENTR was structured in work groups which, especially for technical aspects, continued to operate in close collaboration with RIPE.
  • At present there are about 65 members, comprising effective members, associates and observers.
  • Through regular meetings, mailing-lists and discussions on specific topics, the members can exchange opinions and share common policies and approaches to management of ccTLD Registries.
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