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Internet Autonomous System (AS202032)

Posted on 29 April 2014
Internet Autonomous System (AS202032)

Our Autonomous System has been announced!

On the Internet, an autonomous system (AS) is the unit of router policy, either a single network or a group of networks that is controlled by a common network administrator (or group of administrators) on behalf of a single administrative entity (such as a university, a business enterprise, or a business division). An autonomous system is also sometimes referred to as a routing domain. An autonomous system is assigned a globally unique number, sometimes called an Autonomous System Number (ASN).

Networks within an autonomous system communicate routing information to each other using an Interior Gateway Protocol (IGP). An autonomous system shares routing information with other autonomous systems using the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP). Previously, the Exterior Gateway Protocol (EGP) was used. In the future, the BGP is expected to be replaced with the OSI Inter-Domain Routing Protocol (IDRP).

The Internet’s protocol guideline for autonomous systems, after offering a definition similar to the one above, provides a more technical definition as follows:
An AS is a connected group of one or more Internet Protocol prefixes run by one or more network operators which has a SINGLE and CLEARLY DEFINED routing policy.

What are autonomous system numbers?

Each autonomous system is assigned a globally unique number called an Autonomous System Number (ASN). The number serves as an identifier for the AS and is used when exchanging routing information with other autonomous systems. ASNs are available in both 16-bit and 32-bit format, although ASNs issued before 2007 were all 16-bit.

The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) manages the ASN system and coordinates the distribution of ASNs across five global regions. Each region maintains its own regional internet registry, which is responsible for issuing ASNs to individual ASes within that region. The five regional internet registries cover the following territories:

  1. African Network Information Center, or AFRINIC — Africa
  2. Asia-Pacific Network Information Centre, or APNIC — Asia/Pacific
  3. American Registry for Internet Numbers, or ARIN — Canada, USA and some Caribbean Islands
  4. Latin America and Caribbean Network Information Centre, or ACNIC — Latin America and some Caribbean Islands
  5. Réseaux IP Européens Network Coordination Centre, or RIPE NCC — Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia

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