IP Address News

Providing you with a single site about IP Addresses News and Usage

IP Address News - Providing you with a single site about IP Addresses News and Usage

ARIN & LacNIC close to the bottom of their IPv4 pools

ARIN announced this morning that they had reached the equivalent of a single /8 in the IPv4 free pool. (The ARIN countdown timer does not include reserved space for IPv4 blocks which are allocated under special policies.) With this level each request will be held under more review and will be processed in a first-in first-out basis. It could be only a matter of days or even weeks before the remaining free pool is exhausted depending on the outstanding demand already in ARIN’s queue especially if the request rate increases as organizations come back quickly for their last blocks from this pool.

Available ARIN IPv4 inventory

LacNIC is currently just above a single /9 equivalent in their inventory which includes a reserved /10 for an austerity policy. The Latin American region’s allocation of address space has really accelerated in the first 4 months of 2014 with the end of their pool drawing to a close. The LacNIC home page is currently predicting a runout by May 30th, 2014.

LacNIC’s IPv4 exhaustion policy

Geoff Huston’s IPv4 exhaustion prediction page

ARIN 33 Recommended Draft Policy preview

ARIN33_logoThe ARIN 33 public policy meeting is coming up next week in Chicago.  There are a number of substantive IP number resource public policy discussions on the scheduled agenda.  If you are unable to come to the meeting please consider the remote participation option to have your opinion heard.

Here is my short commentary on the policy proposals being discussed at the meeting.  I’ve limited this blog post to the recommended drafts which could go to last call after the meeting since there are so many polices up for discussion at this meeting.

2013-7 NRPM 4 (IPv4) Policy Cleanup

Policy Summary: This recommended draft policy cleans up a number of sections in the IPv4 policy which are no longer relevant due to policy environment changes.  For example references to RFC 2050 have been removed since that document has been moved to historical status.  The easiest way to look at the changes for this complex change is look at a redline copy of the changes.

Issues: I believe that the controversial elements of the policy have been stripped out from previous versions and all the changes are almost clerical in nature.  I expect there to be some discussion about this policy but for it to be supported widely.

2014-4 Remove 4.2.5 Web Hosting Policy

Policy Summary: This recommended draft policy removed section 4.2.5 which instructed ARIN to collect technical details about how organizations were using IPv4 addresses for web hosting.  It also instructed ARIN to analyze this data for future policy changes.  This policy is an artifact of a failed policy attempt many years ago to limit web hosting organizations from using an IPv4 address per host.   The data collection appears to not have really occurred and no data was ever analyzed by ARIN.

Issues: This policy section (4.2.5) was a stop-gap policy to completely removing the original failed web hosting policy.  It was thought at the time if data could be analyzed then a future policy could be crafted from this data.  Operational web hosting has changed in the decade since this policy was put in place and today this policy doesn’t appear to provide any value, especially after the IPv4 free pool has been exhausted.  I expect there to be little discussion about this policy and for it to move forward to last call.

2014-7 Section 4.4 Micro Allocation Conservation Update

Policy Summary: This recommended draft policy changes one word (“two” to “three”) in section 4.4 which defines the number of members which must be present at an Internet exchange point (IXP) for it qualify for a micro allocation. This policy is designed to prevent waste from occurring within the IXP micro allocations reserve block.

Issues:  Standard operating practice considers two parties exchanging routes to be a private peering. Since in a two party peering one of the two members could provide an IPv4 /30 block for the peering it doesn’t seem unreasonable to raise the limit from two to three to preserve the long term IXP micro allocation reserve block.  Some have argued that this policy will have little effect and amounts to another rearranging of the “deck chairs.”  Others have argued that that Caribbean economies benefit from the current policy.  The AC was quite split on moving this policy to recommended status and I expect there to be quite a bit of discussion about this single word change in the policy meeting.

2014-10 Remove Sections 4.6 and 4.7

Policy Summary: This recommended draft policy changes removes sections 4.6 and 4.7.  These two sections provided an aggregation & amnesty program for IPv4 addresses.  These sections were suspended in early 2014 by the ARIN board of trustees due to concerns that these sections could be abused by an organization to quickly drain the remaining IPv4 free pool.

Issues:  These two sections of the IPv4 policy were rarely used and have not been used in the past six years by any organization.  The developing IPv4 transfer market also makes these two policy sections less likely to be used.  While there have been some concerns about the removal of these sections, there does not appear to be any substantive use cases which would provide a greater public benefit than the risk of leaving the existing polices in place.  Furthermore, if the community desired a smaller amnesty or aggregation policy those could be proposed through the policy development process.  No such policy has been submitted by the community so far.

IPv4 Transfer Market pricing transparency

Since most IPv4 transfers so far have occurred as private transactions the price for the address blocks has generally not been known.  There are various economic methods and theories which could predict the value of the underlying IPv4 address rights, but those models may not bear much resemblance to the actual market due to the model’s inability to take into account all the factors effecting the IPv4 marketplace.

There are a few public exceptions to the pricing data, notably bankruptcy cases (Nortel @ $11.25/address & Borders @  $12/address) where the pricing was made public as a part of the court filings.

Hilco Streambank which is an ARIN registered transfer facilitator has started a new auction service which is openly posting pricing for the IPv4 blocks.  According to their website, six blocks ranging in size from a /17 to a /24 have been sold in the past couple of months through this site.  (Their site reports the auctions have closed, but the actual transfer may not have occurred.) (copy)

Looking at the pricing information that they have posted, there is a clear premium being paid currently for smaller blocks.  The /24 block sold for $ 6,225 or $24.31 per address whereas the larger /17 & /20 blocks sold for between $7.25 – $7.32.  The actual bid information is not released publicly on their site, so we do not know how many organizations were bidding for the blocks or if the blocks sold for the minimum listed price.

It will be interesting to continue to watch to see how pricing for blocks changes over time and if other trends develop based upon source or destination RIR region for the transfers.

Links to sites on IPv4 pricing models and theories: