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

2014 ARIN Advisory Council

I’m pleased to announce that I have been appointed to serve a one year term on the ARIN Advisory Council as the result of a recent resignation.  My term will begin in January.  I look forward to serving the Internet community in this more formal role.  Thanks to those of you who voted for me in the previous ARIN election to put me in this position.

Thank you, Andrew Dul

ARIN 32 Draft Policy preview and predictions

arin32logoThe joint ARIN 32 & Nanog 59 meeting is coming up next week.  There are a number of substantive public policy items 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.  In this blog entry, I’ve also attempted to make some predictions on the discussion and outcome…

2013-4 RIR Principles

Policy Summary: This draft policy adds a section to the NRPM which would provide guiding direction for ARIN’s registry functions.  The core of these principles were originally found in RFC 2050, but the new draft 2050bis which was recently published as RFC 7020 removed a majority of these guiding principles.

Issues: The majority of the discussion about this policy has centered on two aspects.  1) Should this type of text be inserted at all into the NRPM or is already overlapping with ARIN’s mission statement and text in the Policy Development Process (PDP)?  2) Does the draft policy accurately reflect today’s guiding principles for the RIRs (specifically ARIN) registry functions?  Important issues that have been raised here center around the issue of “stewardship” & “conservation” and how that aspect should be documented in a IPv4 runout RIR.

Prediction: This policy will reach consensus at this meeting and will be sent to last-call for approval.  I suspect there will perhaps be some minor adjustments to the text to accommodate any issues raised during the policy discussion.

2013-6 Allocation of IPv4 and IPv6 Address Space to Out-of-region Requestors

Policy Summary:   This draft policy inserts text into the NRPM which would restrict future IP allocations and assignments to organizations who have a legal presences and substantially operate their network(s) inside the ARIN service region.

Issues: This policy originated from ARIN staff comment at the ARIN 31 meeting.  ARIN staff reported that they were seeing increasing numbers of requests from organizations where the IP address were likely to be used outside the ARIN service region or be assigned to customers outside the ARIN service region.  Staff comments on this draft policy indicate this proposed text would restrict the disbursement of resources to legal entities operating within the ARIN service region.

The key issue in this draft policy is the statement:

a plurality of new resources requested from ARIN must be justified by technical infrastructure or customers located within the ARIN service region

Staff comments reveal that this policy as currently written would “create a scenario where a network can’t get IPv4/IPv6 addresses from any RIR.”  Legal review also made note of this issue with this comment: “points of policy to avoid … adopting an overly prescriptive guidance or standard that fails to permit multinational business entities to obtain number resources.”  This is certainly not a desired outcome of the draft policy and I believe must be rectified.

While I believe ARIN staff would benefit from the additional clarity in this draft policy, I doubt this issue will be of as substantial importance after IPv4 exhaustion occurs in the ARIN region.

Prediction: I believe this policy will not achieve consensus at this meeting.  I think there will be significant dissent from the meeting participants to move forward with the current text.  I suspect if the “plurality” statement was removed from the policy it would likely achieve consensus or near consensus such that the policy would continue to move forward through the PDP.

2013-7 Merge IPv4 ISP and End-User Requirements

Policy Summary:   This draft policy makes numerous changes to the existing IPv4 policy which attempts to merge the differences between the ISP and End-User allocation & assignment policies.

Issues: The changes made in this draft policy are complex and intertwined.  It is easiest to see the proposed changes in this red-line version.


While I believe the general plan to attempt cleanup and streamlining of the IPv4 policy are headed in the right direction, I suspect the changes will not necessarily be well understood by the ARIN community and some skepticism will come about that the changes don’t necessarily all move in the right direction.  In general, this policy seems to loosen the requirements on organizations receiving IPv4 addresses, however these two changes are substantially different.

The utilization requirements on an initial end-user assignment changes from 25% immediate, 50% within one year to 80% within three months. This is offset by the lowering of the minimum block size requirement for single-homed networks.

This change seems to go against the idea of making it easier for initial end-user assignments, but this text changes the initial host count for single subnet from 1024 hosts immediately (25% of a /20) to 819 hosts in 3 months (80% of /22).

The timeframe for additional ISP allocations is changed from three months back to one year.

This change has been suggested a number of times, including 2012-4, since the 2009-8 policy put this into place.  In each instance, consensus generally has been toward not to keep changing the IPv4 requirements as IPv4 exhaustion occurs.

Prediction: I believe this policy will not achieve consensus at this meeting due to the large number of changes being proposed.  I suspect the draft policy will continue to be worked on by the AC and that the text will be updated subsequently and be presented at the next Public Policy Consultation (PPC).


July 2013 Update

I’ve been taking some vacation in the past month so the posting has been quiet here.  Catching up on news, it does not appear there is a lot of notable news in the IP address arena.  However, here are a few links & notes that I’ve found catching up on the happenings in the past couple of weeks.


New IPv4 runout projections in ARIN region

Tony Hain has produced a new set of IPv4 runout projections for the ARIN region that show the region exhausting its supply of IPv4 addresses by August of 2013.  This projection pulls the exhaustion date back from mid-2014.

The increased allocations, according to a number of comments at the ARIN meeting, appear to becoming from hosting companies, registered in the US, which are largely supplying services to end customers which are largely outside of the ARIN region.













ARIN 31 Draft Policy preview and predictions

ARIN 31The spring ARIN 31 meeting is fast approaching.    The final meeting agenda has recently been published. There are also opportunities to participate remotely for those who are unable to make the meeting in person.

Here is my short commentary on the policy proposals being discussed at the meeting.  In this blog entry, I’ve also attempted to make some predictions on the discussion and outcome…

2012-2 IPv6 subsequent allocations

Policy Summary: Changes the way utilization is determined for ISPs who return to ARIN for additional IPv6 allocations.

Issues: Since the initial IPv6 policy was implemented, it has been  understood that the IPv6 policy would need to be modified as implementation experience was gained.  Since the idea of hierarchy is important in IPv6 networks, this policy allows a network’s regions which grow at different speeds to retain the hierarchy structure and still allow fast growing regions to obtain the needed additional IPv6 address space.  Since the draft policy’s introduction there was strong consensus that the existing policy needed to change, the challenge has always been the details of policy text.

Prediction: This policy will finally reach consensus at this meeting and will be sent to last-call for approval.

2013-1 Inter-RIR transfers of ASNs

Policy Summary: Allows organizations to request to transfer an autonomous system number (ASN) from one RIR to another.

Issues: ARIN recently adopted policies which both allow the directed transfer of IPv4 between regions and also allowed the directed transfer of ASNs within the ARIN region. This policy extends this trend to allow ASNs to transfer between RIRs.  Some stakeholders in general disagree with the idea of allowing IP resources to trade and will likely oppose this policy.  On the other side are those who will argue that this policy is a logical extension of the existing policy to allow resources to be transferred to where they are needed.

Prediction: This policy will have signification discussion about the need for the policy and the role of inter-RIR relationships, but I suspect the final consensus at the meeting will be to proceed with the implementation of this draft policy.

2013-2 3GPP IP Resource Policy

Policy Summary: Allows organizations to use a lower utilization requirement for provisioning their 3GPP networks when requesting additional IP addresses.

Issues: Wireless operators have been using space beyond RFC 1918 (such as to solve their addressing needs and now that this is becoming part of the “Internet” they need to move off of that space. With ARIN’s /8 inventory currently at approximately 2.5, I’m skeptical that any policy using global IPv4 unicast space can actually solve this problem.   The policy text of this draft policy is also not complete at this time and if consensus is achieved on the concepts of the policy change this draft policy would have to return for discussion at another ARIN meeting.

Prediction: This policy will be abandoned by the AC following the meeting.

2013-3 Tiny IPv6 Allocations for ISPs

Policy Summary: Allows ISPs to request smaller than normal IPv6 address blocks or return larger IPv6 blocks to reduce their IPv6 holdings.

Issues: This draft policy addresses an issue where ISPs are being moved into a larger ARIN fee category under the new fee schedule and allows them to return address space to move to a smaller IPv6 fee category.  There has been significant discussion on the PPML mailing list about this issue and at this point it seems unclear if this proposal will achieve consensus at the meeting.   The primary argument against this policy is that this policy undermines the best current practices for IPv6 subnetting, the intended hierarchical addressing structure defined by the IETF in the IPv6 RFCs, and generous nature of intended IPv6 assignments to end-users.  Some stakeholders will argue that ARIN’s fees shouldn’t be used as a force to dictate a network’s IPv6 architecture.   Arguments for the policy are that some small ISPs don’t need and never will use the current minimum block size of a /32 or /36 and should be able to get a /48 which meets their network needs.

Prediction: This policy will be sent to last call by the AC following the meeting.  (I suspect it is possible that the /48 option will be removed from the draft policy as part of the discussion)


Legacy IPv4 Address standing with USG

ARIN has posted a set of letters and links in response to a letter from the general counsel of the US National Science Foundation (NSF) that was circulated widely on the Internet in the fall of 2012.  This letter was previously written about in a blog entry here and the on Internet Governance Project website.

John Curran, the CEO of ARIN, wrote a letter to the general counsel of the NSF in response to the leaked private letter.  In the letter, Mr. Curran requested that the NSF revoke its previous letter or clarify the early IP address assignment context of the letter.  The letter also goes on the state ARIN’s case for why it believes it should be the registry of record for these legacy IP resource records and why they should be subject to the same community driven stakeholder policy process as IP address assignments made today by the RIRs.

In a letter, dated November 7th, 2012, the general counsel of the NSF responded to Mr. Curran’s letter and stepped back from some of the statements made previously in the earlier private letter.  Specifically noting that the NSF does not speak for the USG on the issue of Internet governance, the NTIA is the appropriate government agency to represent the USG in this area, and that the previous letter was a private letter observation on the NSF’s historical role in the development of the Internet.

This response now seems to erode the idea, that some members of the Internet community have posited, the NSF letter endorsed that legacy IP address assignments should be treated more like property rather than a resource licensed for a specific use.

ARIN’s website on their legacy address information page also now notes the following:

On December 3, 2012, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (“NTIA”) formally commented on the USG’s Internet protocol numbering principles, including that it recognizes ARIN as the RIR for this region. This NTIA guidance is a clear response to the issues raised by an earlier letter from National Science Foundation General Counsel (NSF GC).

NTIA Administrator Lawrence Strickling posted a blog entry on the US Department of Commerce’s NTIA website clarifying the NTIA’s approach to IP addressing in the US.  In the blog entry, Mr. Strickling specifically notes that the USG supports the existing multistakeholder model for development of Internet technical standards and processes, that the RIRs “are responsible for developing policies for the use of IP numbers within their respective specific geographic regions,” ARIN is the RIR for the United States, and that the “USG believes that all IP numbers are allocated for use on a needs basis and should be returned to the numbering pool when no longer needed.”

For those, who still believe that legacy IP addresses should be outside of existing RIR framework and not subject the the needs based policies which have been supported by the Internet community for more than a decade, this series of events only appears to further strengthen the case that the legacy IP address assignments should fall under ARIN’s role as the registry of record and that the USG appears prepared to defend that position in the United States.


2012 IP Address Statistics

Geoff Huston has published his annual look at IP address allocation and assignment statistics.

Addressing 2012: Another One Bites the Dust   (copy)

Plenty of numbers in the report to take a look at…  Notably, we saw ARIN’s 2012 (45 million) allocation rate increase back to its 2010 rate after falling dramatically in 2011 (23.5 million).  RIPE allocated its last IPv4 blocks under its “regular” allocation scheme in mid-September 2012 and moved into the IPv4 exhaustion phase of allocations.  In the RIPE region, there wasn’t an apparent “run-on-the-bank” increase in the allocation rate as the registry moved into the exhaustion phase.


Here Geoff’s updated RIR Address Exhaustion Model shows ARIN moving into the exhaustion phase in mid-2014 with LACNIC in late 2014.  AFRINIC’s trend-line currently points to an exhaustion point 9 years from January 2013.

Another interesting statistic found in the report is that the total number of smart phones and tablets purchased during 2012 amounts to almost 779 million units.  If each of those devices used a native IPv4 address that would use up 21% of the total IPv4 address space.

Geoff finishes the report with a somewhat pessimistic outlook for the Internet industry.

We are witnessing an industry that is no longer using technical innovation, openness and diversification as its primary means of propulsion. The widespread use of NATs limit the technical substrate of the Internet to a very restricted model of simple client/server interactions using TCP and UDP. The use of NATs force the interactions into client-initiated transactions, and the model of an open network with considerable flexibility in the way in which communications took place is no longer being sustained. Today’s internet is serviced by a far smaller number of very large players, each of whom appear to be assuming a very strong position within their respective markets. The drivers for such larger players tend towards risk aversion, conservatism and increased levels of control across their scope of operation. The same trends of market aggregation are now appearing in content provision, where a small number of content providers are exerting a dominant position across the entire Internet.

This changing makeup of the Internet industry has quite profound implications in terms of network neutrality, the separation of functions of carriage and service provision, investment profiles and expectations of risk and returns on infrastructure investments, and on the openness of the Internet itself.


Legacy IPv4 Address “rights”

The Internet Governance Project (IGP) has posted a letter from the general counsel of the National Science Foundation regarding the status of Legacy IPv4 addresses.

In IGP’s commentary regarding the letter, they claim that this letter confirms a legacy holder’s right to “own their number blocks.”   While the letter is certainly an interesting read and its existence is somewhat curious, I don’t really believe this letter resolves anything.

The letter to me clearly states that the NSF general counsel believes that NSI under the NSF contract granted the organization which received the IPv4 Addresses certain rights to use those addresses.  Furthermore, the letter goes on to state that NSI did not and could not unilaterally revoke those rights and that the “NSF does not believe ARIN, or for that matter any other organization, could retroactively affect property and rights distributed to you.”

In a comment to the blog post, John Curran CEO of ARIN writes “The concern has never been about ARIN unilaterally reclaiming number resources; it has been about changes to the number resources in the registry and whether such changes must comply with community policy.  The letter further does not address in the least ARIN’s operation of the registry…”

My personal opinion is that the ambiguity that does exist regarding the relationship of Legacy IPv4 Address holders who has not signed a registration services agreement with an RIRs will not fully be resolved until a US federal court rules on the specific issues surrounding their status and specific “rights.”   It also seems likely that US federal law or regulation could also clear up any ambiguity, but a resolution method through the court system seems more likely.  Even then only further litigation can fully resolve any claims a legacy holder or ARIN claim to assert.

I encourage you to read the letter yourself to see what it does or does not say.