Letter regarding AUNIC to APNIC migration

This letter was sent to all relevant contacts found in the AUNIC database beginning 31 May 2001.

Transition of AUNIC IP address responsibilities to APNIC

We are writing to you because you are named as a contact person for Internet address space allocated by AUNIC, the Australian Network Information Centre. According to the AUNIC database, address space was allocated to you between 1993 and 1997, either by AUNIC or by AARNet (the Australian Academic and Research Network) prior to the establishment of AUNIC.

The specific AUNIC records relating to this IP address space are attached below for your reference.

This message is to announce changes to the registration and maintenance of address space formerly maintained by AUNIC, and contains important details of the transition process. In addition to the records attached below, please find full details of the coming transition, including background information, schedule and contact details.

Please note:
If you have no further use for any registered IP address blocks, you are strongly encouraged to return them to the registry. In this case, please inform APNIC (on the address below), so that the relevant IP address records can be updated, and the IP address blocks returned to the free pool for future re-allocation.

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact auDA or APNIC as follows:

On behalf of auDA, APNIC, and the Australian Internet Community, we would like to acknowledge the contribution of Geoff Huston and others who supported AUNIC. This essential service was provided and expertly managed by this team at no cost to the Australian Internet community, in the interests of responsible management and development of services in this country.

We would also like to thank you for your cooperation in this coming transition process, and encourage you to contact us with any comments or concerns.

Best regards,

Geoff Huston, Former Admin, AUNIC
Paul Wilson, Director-General, APNIC
Chris Disspain, CEO, auDA

Attachment: APNIC Database records

  • APNIC Person record
  • APNIC IP record
  • APNIC Domain record
  • APNIC Maintainer record



Agreement was reached between Geoff Huston as the previous manager of AUNIC, auDA as the current administrator of the AUNIC database, and APNIC as the Regional Internet Registry (RIR) for the Asia Pacific region, to transfer the management of Australian IP address records from AUNIC to APNIC.

This is an operational decision which reflects auDA's responsibility for DNS management within Australia and APNIC's responsibility for IP address allocation in the Asia Pacific region. It also reflects the fact that the network portion of the AUNIC database is a legacy which no longer reflects the current system of Internet resource management within Australia or the wider region.

This transfer of responsibility for address records from AUNIC to APNIC implied a change in management of IP address allocation records, which is described in detail below.

Changes to IP address records

Each IP address allocation registered by AUNIC has up to three separate entries recorded in the AUNIC database:

A single record (a "network object") describing the IP address block itself, providing the details of the entity to whom that block was assigned, and one or two "NIC Handles" identifying persons with administrative and/or technical responsibility for the block.

One or two records ("person objects") describing the administrative or technical contacts for IP address blocks (referenced by the "NIC Handle" identifier). Each person object may actually be referenced by multiple network objects, and/or by multiple domain objects (describing DNS domain registrations) within the AUNIC database.

During the transfer of the IP address records to APNIC, network and person objects will be transferred with minimal alteration. The only changes required will relate to the NIC Handles recorded within network objects, and which must identify person objects uniquely within the database.

All NIC Handle values will be so that the "-AU" suffix used in AUNIC NIC Handles will be replaced by the "-AP" suffix conventionally used by APNIC, and unique numbers in the NIC handle will be changed as necessary to avoid clashes with pre-existing records in the APNIC database.

For example, Geoff Huston's AUNIC NIC handle is "GH29-AU", and this will be converted to "GH29-AP" during the transfer to APNIC. If however "GH29-AP" already exists, then a new unique number will be generated for the new NIC Handle. In all other respects the new person object will be identical to the existing object held at AUNIC at the time of transfer.

It is important to note that if you maintain domain objects in the AUNIC database, you will still need to maintain the corresponding person object(s) in that database. Unfortunately, changes made in one of the databases cannot be reflected in the other.

Changes to database procedures

From 1 June, all records associated with your IP address allocations will be maintained within the APNIC database, at"whois.apnic.net". This server can of course be queried in the standard way with any whois client program.

If you run a whois query to locate your IP address record within the AUNIC database at "whois.aunic.net", then your record will not be found. Instead the server will return a record relating to the entire range of address space previously managed by AUNIC (203.0/10), and a pointer to the APNIC database.

All tools and services required to access and manage your IP address records will be provided by APNIC after the transition (see http://www.apnic.net/services). Also, APNIC telephone and email services will be available for support of these tools and procedures.

Under the terms agreed with this transfer, APNIC will continue to hold these database records without charge, and without undertaking a service contract.

No change to this policy is planned at this time.

History of transition

It is intended that this transition will be completed by 1 June 2001. In order to meet this timeline, the following dates have been set, and areimportant to note:

  1. As of 1 May 2001, the AUNIC database became read-only and no further changes to IP address records were made.
  2. Between the 1 May and 31 May 2001, AUNIC records were transferred to APNIC. During this time, entries in the APNIC database were considered non-authoritative.
  3. Beginning the 1st of June, 2001, all email contacts found for the relevant IP range are being notified regarding the changeover. APNIC database is now considered authoritative for the 203/10 range.
  4. On 1 July 2001, IP address records will be removed from the AUNIC database, and replaced with a single referral record pertaining to the entire 203.0/10 address block. The APNIC database will become the sole repository for IP address data, and the transition will be complete.

If you have any queries regarding the proposed arrangements described here we would like to request you to send them to the email helpdesk@apnic.net, to allow us to ensure that the appropriate person from auDA or APNIC can assist you.

Further background information

In 1993 the Australian and Academic Research Network applied for the allocation of a pool of IP addresses for use within Australia. The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) assigned the pool of addresses numbered with the prefix for this use.

Geoff Huston and the team at AARNet allocated addresses from this pool to Australian entities that had a requirement for public IP address space. AUNIC was set up as an activity of AARNet, and the details of addresses allocated in this fashion were recorded in the AUNIC database.

When the assets of AARNet were transferred to Telstra in 1995 as part of a commercial arrangement between the owners of AARNet and Telstra, the AUNIC operation was not formally transferred to Telstra. From 1 July 1995, the management of AUNIC was undertaken by Geoff Huston as an individual voluntary role, and while Telstra provided generous support to this function in terms of equipment, connectivity and related services, Telstra undertook no role in the operational management or administration of AUNIC.

In February 1997 AUNIC's address allocation operation ceased, and applicants for address space were redirected to their upstream ISP or to the Regional Internet Registry, APNIC. The records relating to IP address assignments undertaken by AUNIC prior to that date have been maintained on the AUNIC database, but no further IP address records have been added. Since then AUNIC has continued in a role of being a domain name registry, holding details relating to the registration of a number of second level domains of .au. (Domain name and Address allocation functions are separate, although they use the same or similar underlying software and systems).

Recent events

Since 1997 Geoff Huston and Paul Libauer have operated AUNIC as individual volunteers, with continuing logistical support generously provided by Telstra. Earlier this year the overall responsibility for the policy management of AUNIC was transferred from Geoff Huston to the Australian Domain Name Authority (auDA) by mutual agreement.

This move was intended to be consistent with AUNIC's current role as a domain name registry, and auDA's efforts to establish a self-regulatory framework for the management of domain names within Australia. It also recognised the increased managerial workload associated with AUNIC, which had surpassed the levels of volunteer commitment that had sustained AUNIC until that date.

In reviewing the records contained in the AUNIC database, the continued maintenance of the historical AUNIC allocated IP address records is not strictly speaking part of auDA's intended scope of responsibilities, and there has been some investigation as to the most appropriate longer term location to house these data records, with APNIC the identified service provider, given its role in management of current allocation for regional address records.

This transition will be followed by a similar transfer of IP address records currently held by ARIN, the North American regional Internet registry, and thus is part of a wider process, aimed at ensuring APNIC will be the authoritative database for registry-allocated address space in the Asia Pacific region.

auDA is also undertaking an unrelated move of AUNIC services to new equipment hosted by NetRegistry on June 3. Please refer to http://www.aunic.net/changes.html for further information.


For further information about APNIC, please see www.apnic.net
For further information about auDA, please see www.auDA.org.au