About the ASO

The Address Supporting Organization (ASO) is one of the three Supporting Organizations (SOs) called for in the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Bylaws. These Bylaws state that the SOs should be “formed through community consensus”.


The ASO’s purpose is to review and develop recommendations on Internet Protocol (IP) address policy and to advise the ICANN Board on policy issues relating to the operation, assignment, and management of IP addresses.


The ASO was established in 1999. As per the ICANN ASO Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between ICANN and the world’s five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs), the Number Resource Organization (NRO), as the coordinating body for the RIRs, fulfils the role of the ASO. The ASO plays a role in ICANN’s Empowered Community, acting as the Decisional Participant, the Decisional Participant Representative and the Empowered Community Administration Representative.


The ASO does not develop policy relating to Internet number resources itself but rather ensures that the Global Policy Development Process (GPDP) has been correctly followed in each RIR region.

ASO Address Council

The ICANN-ASO MoU also states that the ASO shall have an Address Council (ASO AC) consisting of the 15 members of the NRO Number Council (NRO NC). The NRO NC is an elected body of 15 volunteers. Among other activities, the ASO AC oversees the GPDP, provides recommendations to the ICANN Board on the management of IP address space and the recognition of new RIRs, and appoints Directors to serve in the ASO’s two seats (Seat 9 and Seat 10) on the ICANN Board.

Each of the five RIRs appoints three members to the ASO AC. Each RIR’s community appoints two members and one member is appointed by the RIR’s Executive Board.

While similar in name, the ASO and the ASO AC are distinct groups and have separate responsibilities.

Find out more about the ASO AC’s composition, activities and responsibilities here.



Last modified on 24/04/2020