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IPv6 Address Allocation and Assignment Policy

This policy proposal has been accepted

Publication date
Draft document
DRAFT: IPv6 Address Allocation and Assignment Policy
Proposal Version
1.0 - 02 Apr 2007
All Versions
10 Jul 2007
Working Group
Address Policy Working Group
Proposal type
  • Modify
Policy term

This proposal is to change the IPv6 Initial Allocation criteria and the End Site definition in the "IPv6 Address Allocation and Assignment Policy".

Summary of Proposal:

This policy modification is intended to provide a solution to the discussions that have taken place over recent years regarding the IPv6 Policy in the RIPE region. It also takes into account changes that have already been adopted in other RIR regions.

Furthermore, in some cases, it is also an alternative valid solution to the existing proposal regarding IPv6 Provider Independent (PI) assignments.

It is clear that there are cases of small ISPs that do not currently have 200 customers, and that it is therefore not feasible for them to make 'at least 200 /48' assignments in two years. It is unfair, however, that ISPs with only a small number of customers not have access to IPv6 address space.

There are even well known cases where organisations need to make assignments to the same organisation, which is frequently composed of many sites, and may even have its own L2 infrastructure. In other cases, an organisation may have a small number of sites but still require their own block, in order to avoid renumbering when changing upstream provider or because they require to be multihomed.

An example of this situation may be a big university with one or several upstream providers, and many campuses and faculties requiring IPv6 addresses. The university needs to be able to assign IPv6 addresses from the same block to many sites and at the same time to be able to use one or several upstream providers. The university network behaves as an internal university ISP to each of the End Sites.


a. Arguments Supporting the Proposal

There have been already very clear examples and discussions in the region about the need for this modification.

The inability to obtain IPv6 address space by some big entities which require it is a clear barrier to the deployment of IPv6.

By adopting this policy, we avoid creating an unfair situation among different regions, many of which have already modified the original IPv6 common policy to avoid these barriers, based on experience which was not available initially.

Possibly we could even say that requiring an arbitrary number of sites in order to qualify for an allocation might be considered against law in many countries. We must understand that the community can't set policies that might easily be considered illegal by courts, as this could have severe implications.

b. Arguments Opposing the Proposal

The possible effect of this proposal is a growth of global routing tables, as naturally can be expected, because new allocations will be possible according to the suggested modifications.

However, this is the right thing to do and the right thing to happen.

Moreover, the actual opposition arguments should be against being unfair to smaller ISPs, which could not justify a fixed number of assignments, which is quite irrational and could be compared to a similar requirement for allocating IPv4 space, which would never be accepted by the community.


I would like to acknowledge all those who have contributed during many years, to the discussion of the modifications to the existing policy suggested by this proposal.