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You're confusing again domain names and IP addresses: domain names are indeed assigned by name registrars; IP addresses however are assigned by your ISP, or for a web site, the hosting company's ISP. Block of IP addresses are assigned to ISPs by "regional" registries: ARIN for the Americas, RIPE (Réseaux IP Européens) for Europe, etc...

These regional registries got their IP address blocks from IANA (Internet Assigned Number Authority), the whole gory details being shown here. At the beginning of the list, you'll see all the "legacy" IP addresses assignment in the 1980s: those are the class A address blocks; for instance, MIT has all 16 millions plus change of IP addresses from 18.0.0.0 to 18.255.255.255.

These legacy class A IP address blocks give each of these organizations more "public" IP addresses than say China.

IPv6 addresses are also being assigned by the same structures, but only a (very) limited number has been assigned so far.

by Bernard on Thu Dec 30th, 2010 at 10:14:10 AM EST
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Nah, I was not confusing them. I was however wrong in thinking that they were assigned through the same organisational structure. So I thank you for enlightening me.

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by A swedish kind of death on Thu Dec 30th, 2010 at 10:50:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, in both structures, if you go all the way up the food chain, you pretty much end up with ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) that also operates the IANA.

ICANN is headquartered in Marina Del Ray, Calif., under the California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation Law and although it is no longer directly controlled by the US government, its present legal status and location make it difficult to be fully independent from government pressure.

by Bernard on Thu Dec 30th, 2010 at 01:36:09 PM EST
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