2001:678:230::/48 - NL-SURFNET-20160907
inet6num: 2001,678,230,,/48 netname: NL-SURFNET-20160907 country: NL org: ORG-Sb3-RIPE admin-c: WB311-RIPE tech-c: WB311-RIPE status: ASSIGNED PI mnt-by: RIPE-NCC-END-MNT mnt-by: AS1102-MNT created: 2016-09-07T11,36,59Z last-modified: 2016-09-07T11,36,59Z source: RIPE organisation: ORG-Sb3-RIPE org-name: SURFnet bv org-type: LIR address: P.O. Box 19035 address: 3501 DA address: Utrecht address: NETHERLANDS phone: +31302305305 fax-no: +31302305329 e-mail: email@example.com admin-c: HT3384-RIPE admin-c: MK512-RIPE admin-c: SNS1-RIPE admin-c: JK9622-RIPE admin-c: RVR19-RIPE admin-c: WB311-RIPE admin-c: NO17-RIPE admin-c: RS957-RIPE admin-c: SM12780-RIPE abuse-c: SNS1-RIPE mnt-ref: RIPE-NCC-HM-MNT mnt-ref: AS1103-MNT mnt-by: RIPE-NCC-HM-MNT mnt-by: AS1103-MNT created: 2004-04-17T11,43,29Z last-modified: 2016-06-03T08,16,27Z source: RIPE person: Wim Biemolt address: SURFnet bv address: P.O. Box 19035 address: NL - 3501 DA Utrecht address: The Netherlands phone: +31 88 7873000 e-mail: Wim.Biemolt@surfnet.nl nic-hdl: WB311-RIPE remarks: http,//www.biemolt.com/ notify: Wim.Biemolt@surfnet.nl mnt-by: SN-LIR-MNT created: 1970-01-01T00,00,00Z last-modified: 2015-01-07T21,14,52Z source: RIPE
IP address ranges, or netblocks, are groups of related IP addresses. They are usually represented as a base IP address, followed by a slash, and then a netmask which represents how many IP addresses are contained within the netblock. This format is known as CIDR. You'll also sometimes see netblocks given as a start ip address, and an end ip address, or an ip address range.
Traffic works its way around the internet based on the routing table, which contains a list of networks and their associated netblocks.