Regional Internet Registry
A Regional Internet Registry (RIR) is a not-for-profit international organization that deals with the allocation of Internet Protocol (IP) address space (IPv4 and IPv6) and the Autonomous System numbers within a geographical region.
Due to the Internet's rapid growth during the 1990s, ISPs established Regional Internet Registries. The creation of RIRs was made based on the desire to develop the Internet through consistent global policies. The RIRs also work together on joint projects.
Nowadays, managing the space for Internet addresses involves the cooperation and communication between the five RIRs, which share a global responsibility through IANA. Over the last decade, the oversight for Internet address space has evolved into a simpler and more centralized system.
The five RIRs represent different regions:
- ARIN, the RIR responsible for the allocation of IP addresses for the region of North America, Canada, the US, and a portion of the Caribbean. It was established in 1997.
- RIPE NCC, originally known as "The Reseaux IP Europeens Network Coordination Centre," it is the RIR responsible for the allocation of IP addresses for the region of Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia. It was established in 1992.
- APNIC, the RIR responsible for the allocation of IP addresses for the region of Asia and the Pacific Rim. It was established in 1993.
- LACNIC, is the RIR responsible for the allocation of IP addresses for the region of Latin America and the areas of the Caribbean which are not covered by ARIN. It was established in 2001.
- AFRINIC, the RIR responsible for the allocation of IP addresses for the African continent. It became operational in 2005.
Each RIR has the main task to create and develop local policies for managing the allocation of identity elements, such as unique Internet protocol (IP) addresses and the numbers used by routers, switches, and computers over the Internet.
The creation of PDP
The policy development process is proposed by a policy working group from various organizations and members of an RIR. Based on the PDP, various policies are discussed within a specific community and ratified by the RIR Board after consensus has been reached.
The specific stages involved in PDP ratification are:
- The policy development process is proposed (by any member).
- It is further analyzed by the appropriate RIR via mailing lists. Anyone can join such discussions.
- After a period of 30 days, the PDP is brought to an open public meeting for further discussion and the possibility of consensus.
- If consensus is achieved, then the next step will be applied. If consensus is not achieved, another period of 30 days will be allowed for more discussion and debate, until a consensus is achieved. If consensus is still not achieved, the PDP may be abandoned.
- If consensus is achieved, another period of 15 days will be given for anyone from the community to provide new observations and suggestions for final changes.
- The policy is ratified by the Board of Trustees and the policy is adopted for use.
The other functions of each RIR are:
- To provide appropriate registry documentation regarding the allocation of Internet Protocol address space (IPv4 and IPv6) and the Autonomous System numbers;
- To assist the development of Internet routing tables;
- To support the development of CIDR (Classless Inter-Domain Routing) techniques;
- To ensure protection against stockpiling and other types of manipulation that could lead to instabilities;
- To represent the interests of its community by organizing forums and supporting the organizations involved in the coordination of the Internet.
RIR and IANA
IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) is the institution that allocates IP addresses to each individual RIR upon request. Then, each individual RIR is responsible for the allocation of addresses towards Internet Service Providers (ISPs), educational institutions, companies, government bodies and other such institutions. 
All RIRs participate in the body which was created to represent their collective interests, keep them in contact, and coordinate their efforts; known as the Number Resource Organization, it was founded in October 2003 when the four RIRs decided to enter into a MoU. Later, when the RIR AfriNIC was created in 2005 it joined the MoU as well as the NRO.