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Internet Continues to Grow at Astonishing Pace (Perspectives from RIPE NCC Membership Stats)

We are at the height of vacation season here in the Netherlands, and the RIPE NCC headquarters in Amsterdam are quieter than usual. The downtime has given me a chance to reflect on how the recent economic downturn has affected our membership growth.

The good news is that it hasn't.

Our membership, made up of Local Internet Registries (LIRs) from our service region in Europe, the Middle East and parts of Central Asia, is creeping very close to 7,000. Overall, we've had a stable increase in growth from 1994, when the RIPE NCC first started operations, to present day.

If we take a more detailed look at accumulative membership growth per 12-month period, you can see a definite lull in 2001-2002. This, of course, was when the dotcom bubble burst. Our membership still grew during this time, albeit at a snail's pace.

But the recent economic downturn, even amid speculation of a double-dip recession, has not had a negative impact on our membership. One can only assume that the reason for this is that while the manufacturing and financial industries took the brunt of this economic blow, the Internet industry continues to grow at an astonishing pace.

Other factors that may impact our membership growth include IPv4 depletion, though we haven't seen evidence of the impact of this to date.

Now back to vacation time…

Note: The RIPE NCC is an association and only its members can receive the full RIPE NCC service portfolio. Organisations become members mainly to request Internet Number Resources - IPv4 and IPv6 addresses and Autonomous System (AS) numbers.

By Daniel Karrenberg, Chief Scientist at the RIPE NCC

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