ISPs and LIRs and End Users, Oh My!

ISPs and LIRs and End Users, Oh My!

ARIN has different policies for IP address requests depending on how the resources will be used, so how do you know which one is right for your organization?

Let’s start by defining the elephant in the room: Local Internet Registry (LIR). In short, an LIR is an Internet Service Provider (ISP). As defined in ARIN’s Number Resource Policy Manual (NRPM):

“A Local Internet Registry (LIR) is an IR that primarily assigns address space to the users of the network services that it provides. LIRs are generally Internet Service Providers (ISPs), whose customers are primarily end users and possibly other ISPs.”

You may find that ARIN and many members of the community use ISP and LIR interchangeably in conversation. So, when someone says “ISP,” you can think of that as “ISP/LIR.”

Is my organization an ISP/LIR or an end user?

In general, your organization would be considered an ISP/LIR if you use anticipated customer use as the justification for obtaining IP addresses. Your organization would be considered an end user if you are using the IP addresses for your employees and internal infrastructure.

An item of note: If your organization is an ISP/LIR, and you are requesting IP addresses for your internal infrastructure, you would still need to apply as an ISP. Policy constraints do not facilitate having organizations reviewed as both an ISP and an end user at the same time due to utilization requirements.

As always, if you’re still not sure, please call our Registration Services Help Desk. We will be happy to discuss the options available to you.

But don’t we all receive direct allocations?

Since the ARIN fee schedule changed as of 1 January 2022, all IPv4 and IPv6 addresses are now issued as direct allocations, but that doesn’t circumvent policy requirements.

As noted above, the ISP/LIR and end user distinction becomes important when requesting IP addresses due to the different policy requirements.

For help with questions about ARIN resources and services, including applying for IP addresses, contact our Registration Services Help Desk at +1.703.227.0660 Monday through Friday, 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM ET.

Post written by:

A photo of Lisa Liedel
Lisa Liedel
Director of Registration Services

Lisa joined ARIN in March 2007 and is responsible for the day-to-day activities for the Resource Analysts and Paralegal, management of all registration related requests for Internet number resources (IPv4, IPv6 and ASNs), the maintenance of registration records, and general customer support. You’re likely to see Lisa at our ARIN Public Policy and Members Meetings.

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