Policies for Autonomous System number management in the Asia Pacific region

APNIC Document identity

Title:Policies for Autonomous System number management in the Asia Pacific region
Short title:asn-policy
Document ref:APNIC-094Version:007
Date of original publication:19 November 2002Date of this version:16 April 2014
Review scheduled:n/aObsoletes:Previous versions
Status:ObsoleteComments:Obsoleted by apnic-127
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About this document

This document contains policies relating to requesting, assigning, and registering AS numbers in the Asia Pacific region.

Table of contents

Part 1: Background, definitions, and environment

1. Introduction

APNIC (the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre) is the Regional Internet Registry for the Asia Pacific region, responsible for distributing public Internet address space and related resources, including Autonomous System Numbers (ASNs), in the region and for coordinating the development and implementation of policies to manage those resources.

The policies described in this document have been developed by the Internet community of the Asia Pacific region through a consensus process facilitated by APNIC. They are to be implemented by APNIC and by the National Internet Registries (NIR).

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2. Scope

This document describes the policies relating to the distribution, management, and use of Autonomous System (AS) numbers in the Asia Pacific Region.

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3. Definitions

The following terms and definitions are used in this document.

3.1 Autonomous System (AS)

An Autonomous System (AS) is a connected group of one or more IP prefixes run by one or more network operators under a single and clearly defined routing policy.

3.2 Autonomous System Number (ASN)

An Autonomous System Number (ASN) is a unique two- or four-byte number associated with an AS. The ASN is used an identifier to allow the AS to exchange dynamic routing information with other Autonomous Systems. Exterior routing protocols such as the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) requires ASNs to exchange information between networks.

Two-byte only AS numbers are AS numbers in the range:

 0 - 65535

Four-byte only AS numbers are AS numbers in the range:

 65,536 - 4,294,967,295

Four-byte AS numbers are all AS numbers in the range:

 0 - 4,294,967,295

3.3 aut-num object

An aut-num object is an object in the Whois database used to register ASN assignment details. For the purposes of this document, aut-num object also refers to the ASN registration objects in NIR databases.

3.4 Multihomed

A multi-homed AS is one which is connected to more than one other AS. An AS also qualifies as multihomed if it is connected to a public Internet Exchange Point.

3.5 Routing policy

The routing policy of an AS is a description of how network prefixes are exchanged between that AS and other Autonomous Systems.

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4. Policy environment

In addition to the general goals and environmental considerations described in APNIC-086 Policies for IPv4 address space management in the Asia Pacific region, the following issues are specific factors in determining ASN policy.

4.1 Resource ownership

The Internet community regards ASNs as a public resource that should only be distributed according to demonstrated need. Neither assignment nor registration confers ownership of resources. Organizations that use ASNs are considered "custodians" rather than "owners" of the resource, and are not entitled to sell or otherwise transfer that resource to other parties other than in accordance with the APNIC transfer, merger, acquisition, and
takeover policy
.

4.2 Routing considerations

Responsible management of ASNs is necessary to help limit the expansion of global routing tables. Aggregating contiguous IP address prefixes within single Autonomous Systems helps to minimize the number of routes announced to the global Internet.

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Part 2: Policies for ASN management

5. Eligibility for ASN assignment

An organization is eligible for an ASN assignment if it:

  1. is multihomed; and
  2. has a single, clearly defined routing policy that is different from its providers' routing policies.

An organization will also be eligible if it can demonstrate that it will meet the above criteria upon receiving an ASN (or within a reasonably short time thereafter).

5.1 Evaluation of eligibility

Requests for ASNs under these criteria will be evaluated using the guidelines described in RFC1930 Guidelines for the creation, selection and registration of an Autonomous System (AS).

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6. Requesting an ASN

Organizations may request an ASN from either APNIC or their relevant NIR. The requesting organization may request an ASN for use its own network, or for the purposes of providing the ASN to one of its customers, subject to the terms of Sections 6.1 and 6.2 below.

6.1 Using ASN for own network

Assignments to organizations that will use the ASN in their own network are subject to the following additional terms:

  1. The requesting organization is responsible for maintaining the registration described in Section 7.
  2. The requesting organization is entitled to continue using the ASN, even if they change network peers or service providers.

6.2 Providing ASN to customer

Assignments to organizations that will provide the ASN to one of its customers are subject to the following additional terms:

  1. The customer that will actually use the ASN must meet the criteria in Section 5.
  2. The requesting organization is responsible for maintaining the registration described in Section 7 on behalf of the customer.
  3. If the customer ceases to receive connectivity from the requesting organization it must return the ASN. The requesting organization is expected to enter into an agreement with the customer to this effect.
  4. Any ASNs returned to the requesting organization must then be returned to APNIC or the relevant NIR.

6.3 Timetable for moving from two-byte only AS numbers to four-byte AS numbers

  • Commencing 1 January 2007
    APNIC will process applications that specifically request four-byte only AS numbers and assign such AS numbers as requested by the applicant. In the absence of any specific request for a four-byte only AS number, a two-byte only AS number will be assigned.
  • Commencing 1 January 2009
    APNIC will process applications that specifically request two-byte only AS numbers and assign such AS numbers as requested by the applicant. In the absence of any specific request for a two-byte only AS number, a four-byte only AS number will be assigned.
  • Commencing 1 July 2009
    APNIC will process applications that specifically request a two-byte only AS numbers and assign such AS numbers as requested by the applicant if the applicant can demonstrate that a four-byte only AS number is unsuitable. In the absence of demonstrated need for a two-byte only AS number, a four-byte only AS number will be assigned.
  • Commencing 1 January 2010
    APNIC will cease to make any distinction between two-byte only AS numbers and four-byte only AS numbers, and will operate AS number assignments from an undifferentiated four-byte AS number pool.

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7. Registration requirements

All ASNs assigned must be publicly registered in the APNIC, or relevant NIR, Whois database. APNIC, or the relevant NIR, will create the aut-num object.

All attributes of the aut-num object must be properly registered in accordance with the APNIC or NIR Whois database documentation. Without limiting these general requirements, Sections 7.1, 7.2 describe particular requirements for ASN registration.

7.1 Registering contact persons

Administrative and technical contact persons must be registered for each ASN assigned.

The registered administrative contact ('admin-c') is the person responsible for the ASN and should generally be someone who is physically located at the site of the AS.

The technical contact ('tech-c') need not be physically located at the site of the AS, but must be a person who is responsible for the day-to-day operation of that AS.

In addition, it is mandatory to register an Incident Report Team (IRT) object for each AS number record in the APNIC Whois Database. 

7.2 Registering routing policy

APNIC recommends that the routing policy of the AS is registered for each ASN assigned.

7.3 Updating registration details

Organizations responsible for ASNs should update the aut-num object in the appropriate database if any of the registration information changes.

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8. Return of unused ASNs

It is a condition of ASN assignment that if an ASN is not being used by the organization that originally received it, then the ASN should be returned.

For information on recovery of unused historical AS numbers, see section 7 of Policies for historical Internet resources in the APNIC Whois Database.

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9. Additional guidelines

In addition to the eligibility guidelines described in section 5.1, APNIC may publish other guidelines relating to ASNs, including:

  • further descriptions of evaluation procedures;
  • summaries of the best current practices that organizations requesting ASNs will generally be expected to adopt; and
  • other information that may assist organizations to request ASNs.

Any guidelines published will be developed within the APNIC community, and will be consistent with the goals and policies described in this document.

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