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The Local Internet Registry (LIR) and the End User

Understanding the Role and Responsibilities of a Sponsoring Local Internet Registry

Welcome to my latest blog post where we delve into the pivotal role of a Sponsoring Local Internet Registry (LIR) and their importance in managing end user relationships in the realm of Internet resource allocation. This article is inspired by an instructional video from the RIPE NCC, presented by IP resource analyst and part-time trainer, Yu and Mackey. We’ll break down the hierarchy of Internet resource management, the responsibilities of a sponsoring LIR, and best practices for maintaining a healthy and compliant operation.

The Hierarchy of Internet Resource Management

Before we dive into the specifics of a local internet registry’s duties, let’s establish the hierarchy that exists within internet resource management. At the top, we have IANA (the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority), which oversees global IP address allocation, among other critical functions. Below IANA are the five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs), each serving a different portion of the globe. RIPE NCC, for instance, covers Europe, Central Asia, and parts of the Middle East.

Members of an RIR, such as RIPE NCC, are recognized as Local Internet Registries. LIRs are responsible for the distribution and management of IP addresses within their region. They serve a variety of end users, which can include companies, charities, schools, or even individuals.

Responsibilities of a Sponsoring LIR

As a sponsoring LIR, there’s a myriad of responsibilities that you must uphold. Not only are you tasked with requesting and assigning Internet resources on behalf of your end users, but you also need to ensure that the registry remains updated, handle abuse-related matters, and perform due diligence ahead of any requests sent to the RIPE NCC. Additionally, you’ll represent your end user in any communication with the RIPE NCC.

Let’s look at these responsibilities in a structured format:

Action Responsibility Outcome Best Practice
Resource Request Request and assign Internet resources, such as IPv6 PI or AS numbers, on behalf of end users. End users receive necessary resources for their own infrastructure. Maintain communication with end users throughout the process.
Registry Maintenance Keep the RIPE database up-to-date with accurate end user information. Accurate reflection of end user details in the RIPE database. Report changes in business structure, name, or address promptly.
Abuse Handling Handle or delegate abuse complaints related to the end users’ network. Swift resolution of abuse complaints. Ensure end user contact information is reachable and updated.

Independent Resources and Transfers

It’s crucial to understand that independent resources, such as IPv6 provider-independent space or AS numbers, are owned by the end user, not the LIR. These resources can be transferred between sponsoring LIRs if, for instance, an end user changes their service provider. However, the LIR must ensure that these transfers are recorded accurately, and in cases where resources are no longer needed, they are returned to the RIPE NCC, not retained by the LIR.

IPv4 resources are a special case due to scarcity, and typically, end users will only receive IPv4 resources from the LIR’s own allocation. However, the LIR may assist the end user in obtaining IPv4 through the RIPE NCC’s Transfer Listing Service.

Updating the Registry and Handling Abuse Complaints

Keeping the RIPE registry up-to-date is not just good practice, it’s a requirement. Whether it’s a simple name change or a more significant event like a merger or acquisition, these changes need to be reported to the RIPE NCC promptly. This ensures the integrity of the registry and the rightful ownership and use of the resources.

Abuse complaints, which can arise from DDoS attacks, spam, or malware, need to be addressed either by the LIR or the end user. If the end user is unresponsive, the responsibility falls on the LIR. In extreme cases, where the end user is consistently unreachable, the LIR may consider terminating the sponsorship agreement.

Do’s and Don’ts for Sponsoring LIRs

To encapsulate the essence of a sponsoring LIR’s responsibilities, here’s a quick list of do’s and don’ts:

Conclusion

In summary, a sponsoring LIR plays a critical role in managing internet resources for end users. By maintaining open communication lines, ensuring accurate registry data, handling abuse complaints, and performing due diligence, LIRs can provide excellent service while adhering to the rules set out by the RIPE NCC. Remember, the RIPE NCC is always available to assist with any questions or concerns related to your role as a sponsoring LIR.

If you’re involved in managing a local internet registry or are an end user seeking to understand your relationship with your LIR, I hope this article has been informative. For further guidance and resources, do not hesitate to reach out to the RIPE NCC directly.

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