Global Policy for the Allocation of the Remaining IPv4 Address Space
Summary of Proposal:
This policy describes the process for the allocation of the remaining IPv4 space from IANA to the RIRs. When a minimum amount of available space is reached, one /8 will be allocated from IANA to each RIR, replacing the current IPv4 allocation policy.
The IANA pool of allocation units of IPv4 addresses (/8s) is decreasing rapidly; the exhaustion of IPv4 address space is projected to take place within the next few years and to continue applying a global coordinated policy for distribution of the last piece(s) of each RIR's unallocated address block does not match the reality of the situation in each RIR region. Issues each RIR region will face during the exhaustion period vary by region as the level of development of IPv4 and IPv6 are widely different. As a result, applying a global coordinated policy may adequately address issues in a certain region while it could not be work for the others.
For example, in a region where late comers desperately need even small blocks of IPv4 addresses to access to the IPv4 Internet, a policy that defines the target of allocations/assignments of IPv4 address space to the late comers would be appropriate in such region. This would allow availability of IPv4 address space for such requirements for more years.
Another example comes from difference in IPv6 deployment rate. For a region where IPv6 deployment rate is low, measures may be necessary to prolong IPv4 address life for the existing business as well as for new businesses until networks are IPv6 ready. Some regions may have strong needs to secure IPv4 address space for translators. A globally coordinated policy which addresses all issues listed above (and/or others) to meet the needs for all RIR regions may result in not solving issues in any of the regions. This proposal seeks to focus on measures that should be taken globally in the address management area in order to prepare for the situation in all RIR regions.
Arguments Supporting this Proposal
- It allows each RIR community to define a policy on how to distribute the last piece(s) of allocations which best matches their situation.
Arguments Opposing this Proposal
- Concerns could be raised about allocating a fixed size to all RIRs, that it artificially fastens the consumption rate of some RIR regions. However, its impact is kept to minimum by keeping the allocation size to a single /8 which makes merely 3-4 months difference.
- Concerns could be raised that explicitly allowing regional policies will encourage RIR shopping. However, this should not happen if the requirements within each region is adequately reflected in each RIR's policy through PDP. RIR may also chose to add criteria to prevent LIRs from other regions submitting such requests.
The RIPE NCC has examined the available data and concluded that no factual report or simulation can be produced at this stage for a realistic future view of what impact this proposal may have on the registry system, address/Internet number resource consumption or fragmentation/aggregation if it is implemented.