The Address Supporting Organization (ASO) is an ICANN-facing body while the Number Resource Organization (NRO) is a Regional Internet Registry-facing body. The two bodies are connected but have different responsibilities.

The purpose of the ASO is to review and develop recommendations on global Internet number resource policy and to advise the ICANN Board.  The functions of the ASO are carried out by the ASO Address Council (ASO AC), which consists of the members of the NRO Number Council (NRO NC). NRO NC members are elected and appointed by their respective RIR communities.

The NRO provides the secretariat support for the ASO. In addition, the RIRs delegate joint operational and external activities to the NRO.  It may also enter into cooperative agreements on behalf of all the RIRs with international, national or public sector organizations. One of the NRO’s core functions is the promotion and protection of bottom-up Internet number resource policy development processes. The NRO is led by an Executive Council (NRO EC).

NRO EC Responsibilities with Regard to Global Policies

The NRO EC currently comprises the chief executives of the five RIRs.  The EC represents the RIRs on issues delegated to the NRO by the RIRs and commits resources in support of NRO activities where there is unanimous approval amongst its members. The EC also develops procedures for conducting its business in an open and transparent manner.

The 2004 Memorandum of Understanding between the NRO and ICANN directs the NRO EC to do the following:

  • Advise the ASO AC that a global policy proposal has been adopted by all of the RIRs according to their respective policy development processes.
  • Respond to an ASO AC request for further review of a proposed global policy proposal or a request for more time for review.