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

USG announces it will let IANA contract expire

The US government, via the NTIA, issued an update that it intends to let the IANA contract expire at the end of September, which allows the IANA transition process to complete.

Update on the IANA Transition (copy)

Obama Administration to Privatize Internet Governance on Oct. 1

In the case of IP numbers, this will allow the new contract (SLA) between the RIRs and ICANN to be effective, such that ICANN will now manage the IANA number resource functions for the RIRs under contract from the RIRs rather than the USG.

There are of course those who still opine about the risks associated with this transition, but my personal opinion is that if the Internet is to continue to be open and inclusive, it has to not have a single string tied to the US government.  That might not appease everyone who is a strong supporter of the US and USG, but if that single string remains, it only seeks to bifurcate the Internet into national nets for those countries which disagree in some manner with the US.

RIRs sign new service level agreement with ICANN

On June 29th, 2016, the RIRs collectively signed the service level agreement (SLA) that has been negotiated with ICANN for the IANA services.  This SLA or contract was negotiated as part of the number community’s portion of the IANA transition away from a US government contact with ICANN.

The IETF defines the Internet protocols and parameters, and in doing so delegates a portion of the number resources (IPv4, IPV6 & ASNs) used in those protocols to the RIRs for management.

The final step in the transition, from the numbering community’s perspective,  is for the US government to allow the contact for the IANA services with ICANN to expire, sometime before Oct 1, 2017.  Once the transition is completed, the RIRs will have a contract as a group with ICANN to provide the top-level coordination of the IPv4, IPv6, and ASN IP number resources.

ICANN and Regional Internet Registries Sign SLA for the IANA Numbering Services


IPv6 usage continues to grow

The past week had a number of organizations marking the 4 year anniversary of IPv6 launch day.  A number of articles highlighted the increasing density of IPv6 deployments.  Comcast also had a presentation at the recent RIPE meeting in Copenhagen where they highlighted some of their IPv6 statistics.

A few notable statistics from my perspective:

ARIN 37 Public Policy Preview

ARIN37Next week is the ARIN 37 meeting in Jamaica.     Here is my look ahead at the policies being discussed at the meeting.  There is one recommended draft that will be discussed along with five other draft policies.  If you aren’t going to be there in person check out the remote participation options.

2015-3 Remove 30 day utilization requirement in end-user IPv4 policy (Recommended Draft)

Policy Summary: This draft policy removes the 30 day usage requirement for IPv4 end-users.

Discussion: This policy is intended to remove what has been considered an onerous requirement on end-users.  Under current policy an end-users is supposed to put 25% of their block into use with 30 days, based upon a 1 year allocation. This requirement has always been very hard for organizations to meet and has skewed the allocation sizes downward.  With end-users now forced to obtain assignments via the transfer market, this policy provision is even more restrictive.

Commentary: There has been some opposition to this policy because a few contributors believe there should be some near-term requirement for organizations which do not have any assignment history with ARIN.  However, I believe most people support removing this requirement.

2015-2 Inter-RIR Transfers to Specified Recipients

Policy Summary: This policy allows an organization which receives a transfer in the ARIN region to transfer it to another RIR within 24 months of receiving the transfer.

Discussion: The policy is intended to benefit large organizations which receive a block via transfer in the ARIN region and then want to transfer it to a subsidiary or other entity in another region.  This is needed for some organizations which wanted to move address blocks to regions/countries which required the addresses be registered in a local NIR before they can be used.  Language was added to the policy requiring the receiving organization be a subsidiary, but despite attempt to finalize the draft language legal issues were raised prevented which the policy from becoming a recommended draft.

2015-7 Simplified requirements for demonstrated need for IPv4 transfers

Policy Summary: Replaces the needs test for transfers with an officer’s attestation to 50% use within 24 months.

Discussion: This policy is intended to loosen the transfer requirements, but leave the other transfer qualification methods intact in case an organization want to use them.  This policy has seen limited support on the mailing list.  The ARIN AC is looking for if there is sufficient support for the ideas within this policy before proceeding to move this policy to recommended.  Issues raised included concern that the 50% utilization level is way to low.  In general, this policy and 2015-9 are supported by organizations which believe in lessening the needs-basis requirements for IPv4 transfers, but not supported by those who believe that the current needs-based requirements are still working and providing value so they should be retained.

Commentary: I personally like the idea of loosening the needs-basis requirements toward officer attestations of use as long as there is a requirement that the address blocks be used on an operational network.  We could quibble about the utilization levels, but 50% per block seems like the lowest one could go and still have the utilization rate be meaningful.  80% has been the requirement for a long time and retaining that level could be beneficial in bridging the gap for those who would otherwise not support the policy.

2015-9 Eliminating needs-based evaluation for Section 8.2, 8.3, and 8.4 transfers

Policy Summary: Removes needs-based testing from the transfer policy.

Discussion: This policy has been supported and not supported by the “usual” sides in this debate.  This policy was recently proposed for abandonment during the March AC’s meeting, but that motion failed.  Most of the issue revolved around the lack of formal support for this policy.  The AC will be looking for statements of support at the upcoming meeting to see if there is a path forward for this policy.  The text of the policy has not really changed much since the last meeting, other than removing Inter-RIR transfers from the policy as to not upset the interdependent policies between RIRs.

Commentary: I have specifically noted two issues which I believe should be addressed in this policy. 1. I believe there should be a base requirement that address blocks should only be transferred to organizations which intend to use them on an operational network. 2. I don’t like how the policy is constructed from a textual perspective.  The policy uses the phrase “excluding any policies related to needs-based justification”  While I think I know what that means, there is no definitive definition of what exactly constitutes a “needs-basis policy.”  We should be constructing clear text which clearly states any requirements for a transfer.

2016-1 Reserve pool transfer policy

Policy Summary: Restricts the ability to transfer IPv4 blocks which are received from reserved pools including the critical infrastructure pool (4.4) and the IPv6 transition pool (4.10).

Discussion: This is a new policy which grew out of a discussion at the last NANOG meeting in San Diego.  It was noted by some of the participants there that these reserved blocks could be transferred and that was perhaps not what the authors of the reserved block policy had intended.  The current practice allows an organization to obtain a block for a specific purpose and then transfer it to another organization which can use it without restrictions.   The IPv6 transition block was also intended to allow block sizes smaller than /24.  Some contributors believe that if blocks are allowed to be transferred some operators won’t lower their filters to allow these smaller blocks to propagate in BGP.

APNIC 41 with APRICOT in Auckland, NZ






I recently returned from the APNIC meeting in Auckland, New Zealand.  Here are a few notes and highlights from the meeting.

IPv4 Transfer Panel

A interactive panel on current trends in the IPv4 transfer market.

Alain Duran (ICANN Research) – IPv4 market might be considered concentrated depending on how you slice the data.  The RIRs are reporting transfers in different formats and different fields and this is hindering analysis.  Most transfers are happening in the region, but some are moving between the regions (ARIN is a net exporter).  Most of the addresses that are being transferred are “old” ones that were issued more than 20 years ago. (copy)

Geoff Huston (APNIC) – The largest transfers are happening in the ARIN region.  More than 58M addresses were transferred globally in 2015. There is a difference between what we see in the routing table for transfers vs. what is recorded in the registry.  We don’t have a good way to measure the amount of addresses that are being Leased/Rented.  We also can’t measure how many devices are behind NATs.  Transfers aren’t making a difference in the route-table growth. (copy)

Sandra Brown (IPv4 Market Group) – Sandra that price will still rise, but is currently being depressed due to the large blocks (/8’s) coming to market.  Price differentials between regions have largely disappeared since inter-RIR transfers have started with RIPE.  Using the /16 as a base size block, pricing bottomed out in Sept 2015 at about $5/IPv4 address and is now in the $7-8 range for /16s. (copy)

Gabe Fried (HilcoStreambank) – Only 1/3 of large “Elephant” transactions have been recorded with the registry.  Smaller blocks command price premiums, so some holders are choosing to break up their blocks and slowly sell them over the course of a year generating additional value to the current block holder.  Largest transactions (Option Agreements): Buyer pays at closing, seller keeps the block until the buyer is ready to transfer, buyer retains the right to direct the seller to transfer the blocks to a specific receiver at a future time.  10% of the volume of addresses are direct transfers constituting 96% of transfer transactions.    The remaining 4% of the transactions are 90% of the address transfer volume.  (copy)

Q&A period included discussions about how Letters of Authority (LOAs) are being used to route blocks.  Organizations should really check to see if people are really authorized to advertise blocks.  There was some discussion about if reassignment records be used to record renting and leasing records?  How can we bring more transparency to the industry for options contracts and leasing/renting issues.

YouTube video of panel

Address policy working group (Policy sig)

All formal action items were resolved before the meeting; 2 policies were implemented recently: Prop-113 & Prop-114

Prop-113 – new minimum assignment criteria, for a /24

  • Currently multihomed
  • Currently using a /24 and intends to multihome
  • Plans to multihome with 6 months

Prop-114 – new ASN assignment criteria

  • Currently multihomed OR have previous allocated PI space and intend to multihome in the future

2 new proposals submitted were not accepted by chairs:

First proposal submitted allowed aggregation of /21 approvals instead of /22 from 103/8 and /22 from other pool.

Second proposal submitted required whois contact email should be validated once per month.

Prop-105 – IANA returns pool – allows an organization to get another /22

The IANA returns pool is depleting. The non-103/8 pool is for a second /22 per organization. The pool will deplete soon likely in April/May 2016. March will add a /15. September will add an /18. Recovered blocks, if any, go into this pool as well. When the pool depletes, it’s going to bounce a few times as it gets repeatedly depleted and then refilled. Secretariat proposed at the Jakarta meeting the creation of a waiting list for this pool. The staff has started working on implementation of the wait-list which will be based on a strict order of request.

BGP route Hijacking

prefix hijacked (copy)

Interesting presentation about blocks that are being hijacked and the methods (fraudulently prepared LOAs) to get the blocks routed.  Don’t trust LOAs, they are sometimes not worth the “paper” they are written on.

BGP Hijack Issue on Nov 6 2015

Some hijackings are causing a race to the bottom of announcing everything as /24s in some cases.  This could have longer-term issues if this type of behavior became the norm rather than a transient exception.


APNIC has a new tool that one can use to visualize ASN data.


IP Addressing 2015

Geoff Huston recently released his 2015 report on IP addressing.  Here are a few notes from the larger report.

  • AfriNIC is the only RIR which continues to have an IPv4 free pool available
  • ARIN exhausted its free pool in mid-2015 and is now only allocating small blocks from an IPv6 transition pool
  • IPv4 transfers continue to increase with 3,643 transfers recorded in 2015 which is more than double from 2014
  • The volume of IPv4 transfers almost tripled in 2015 to 58,309,888 IPv4 addresses
  • Carrier-grade NAT (CGN) and other NAT applications continue to dampen the real demand for IPv4 addresses
  • IPv6 allocations continue to hold steady with 4,733 allocations made in 2015

Addressing 2015 – Last One Standing! (copy)

IPv4 address exports in Romania

Here at the the RIPE 71 meeting in Bucharest, Romania.  A very interesting presentation was given by one of the IP address brokers about the large scale export of IPv4 addresses from Romania.

According to data from RIPE and Cipiran Nica, 66% of all exported addresses in the RIPE region are from Romania. RO had 13.5M addresses before runout, then exported 5.2 M or more than 1/3 of the total addresses in the country. By contrast the next largest exporter in the region, Germany, was the source of 14% of the RIPE transfers.  This 14%, however, constituted less than 2% of total addresses registered in Germany.  

This export has always seemed a bit of an oddity since it was noted in earlier blog post from Dyn earlier in 2015. 

The presentation at the meeting revealed some of the on the ground details that are not easily explained by the statistics themsevles.  The primary reason so many of these addresses came on to the market was that a majority of the addresses in the country were being rented or were previously used for spam.  Prior to IPv4 exhaustion many RO companies rented addresses due to the cost of becoming a LIR. Additionally, there has been consolidation of the ISPs in the region and as these smaller ISPs were taken over the addreses were returned to the LIRs.  These are the addresses that went into the transfer market along with addresses that were obtained mostly for companies which were doing snowshoe spam. The addresses which were used for spam constituted 68% of exported addresses.  Approximately 30% of the addresses were from formerly rented addresses.

Estimates of actual IPv4 usage from the top 5 companies companies in Romania show that about 4.2M addresses are being used to conver 95% of the Internet access customers in the country.  

It will be interesting to see if this large scale export of IPv4 resources will have a negative effect on the longer term.  A number of the largest providers here are quite agressive in their IPv6 rollouts, but even those require IPv4 to be able to connect end users to the rest of the predominantly IPv4 Internet.

Romania’s Jump to the Number One exporter of IPv4 Addresses