FAQ: IPv4 and Reaching the last /8

It is now more crucial than ever that ISPs, governments, network providers and other stakeholders ensure that they are IPv6 ready to ensure that the innovative evolution of the Internet continues.
Show or Hide answer The RIPE NCC is now allocating IPv4 address space from its last /8. What happens now?

The pool of available IPv4 addresses was exhausted on 1 February, 2011, triggering the "Global Policy for the Allocation of the Remaining IPv4 Address Space".

On 3 February, 2011, the five RIRs each received one of the IANA's five reserved /8 blocks. One /8 is equal to 16.8 million IPv4 addresses. Each RIR has community specific policies dealing with how this /8 is distributed within their respective communities.

The RIPE NCC is now allocating IPv4 address space from the last /8 according to "IPv4 Address Allocation and Assignment Policies for the RIPE NCC Service Region". Each Local Internet Registry (LIR) can receive only one /22 (1,024 IPv4 addresses) upon application for IPv4 resources. To obtain this /22 allocation, the LIR must already have an IPv6 allocation. No new IPv4 Provider Independent (PI) space will be assigned.

Show or Hide answer Who decided that each RIR would receive one of the reserved /8s?

The "Global Policy for the Allocation of the Remaining IPv4 Address Space" was proposed, discussed, modified and accepted by all five of the RIR communities in an open, inclusive and fully documented process. The policy was ratified by the ICANN Board on 6 March 2009.

Show or Hide answer How much available IPv4 space does the RIPE NCC have available for allocation?

The amount of space in the RIPE NCC's IPv4 available pool can be seen here.

Show or Hide answer Who decided how the RIPE NCC will distribute the final /8 it received from IANA?

The RIPE community decided how the RIPE NCC would distribute the last /8. All policies are developed using the open, transparent and consensus based RIPE Policy Development Process (PDP). The RIPE NCC does not propose, accept or reject any policies.

Show or Hide answer How did the pool of IPv4 addresses run out?

No one could have predicted the growth of the Internet and, when the commercial Internet was in its infancy, the pool of around 4 billion IPv4 addresses seemed huge. IPv4 addresses were in use before the RIRs existed. The introduction of the RIR system helped to regulate the consumption of IPv4 addresses by allocating and assigning Internet number resources based on need.

Show or Hide answer Can I transfer or exchange IPv4 addresses?

Yes. The RIPE NCC follows the procedures outlined in section 5.5 of "IPv4 Address Allocation and Assignment Policies for the RIPE NCC Service Region", which documents the process of transferring IPv4 addresses between RIPE NCC members.

The IPv4 Transfer Listing Service is a platform that enables RIPE NCC members to list for exchange the IPv4 address space they hold and no longer need. The listing service is only available to members and its use is included in the annual RIPE NCC membership fee.

More information about IPv4 transfers is available here.

Show or Hide answer Where can find training on how to deploy IPv6?

The RIPE NCC holds regular training courses for members on current best practice for deploying IPv6, such as the IPv6 for LIRs Training Course and the Deploying IPv6 Training Course.

There are several individuals and organisations offering IPv6 training and consultancy. Some of them are listed here.

Show or Hide answer Where can I get more information about IPv6?

The IPv6 Act Now website offers information about IPv6 and its deployment for all stakeholders.

Show or Hide answer I have an IPv6 assignment. Am I eligible to receive a /22 of IPv4 address space from the last /8?

No. An LIR must have an IPv6 allocation from the RIPE NCC or an upstream LIR to be eligible to receive a /22 allocation from the last /8.

See “IPv4 Address Allocation and Assignment Policies for the RIPE NCC Service Region” for more information.

Show or Hide answer Can I get a /22 of IPv4 space from the last /8 if I am not an LIR?

No. You have to be an LIR to receive a /22 allocation from the last /8.

See "IPv4 Address Allocation and Assignment Policies for the RIPE NCC Service Region" for more information.

Show or Hide answer Can I get an IPv4 PI assignment from the last /8?

No. Only IPv4 allocations can be distributed from the last /8. Only LIRs can receive an allocation.

See section 5.1 of "IPv4 Address Allocation and Assignment Policies for the RIPE NCC Service Region" for more information.

Show or Hide answer I received IPv6 address space from an upstream LIR. Can I receive a /22 from the last /8?

Yes, if you have an IPv6 LIR-to-ISP allocation and you are a RIPE NCC member. No, if you have an IPv6 assignment.

See "IPv4 Address Allocation and Assignment Policies for the RIPE NCC Service Region" for more information.

Show or Hide answer How can I get a /22 allocation from the last /8?

The RIPE NCC is allocating IPv4 address space from the last /8 according to "IPv4 Address Allocation and Assignment Policies for the RIPE NCC Service Region". This means that an LIR may receive only one /22 from the last /8 of IPv4 address space. To receive this /22 allocation:

  • An LIR requesting their first IPv4 allocation must justify need for IPv4 address space to get the /22 allocation
  • An LIR that has already been allocated IPv4 address space by the RIPE NCC in the past must show that 80% of this IPv4 address space is being used in valid assignments or sub-allocations
  • All LIRs requesting a /22 from the last /8 must have already received an IPv6 allocation from the RIPE NCC or from another LIR before the /22 can be provided. The IPv6 address space does not have to be in use to be eligible for the /22.
Show or Hide answer What does the RIPE NCC do with IPv4 address space that is returned?

All IPv4 address space that is returned to the RIPE NCC goes back into the last /8 pool of IPv4 address space. It will then be re-used to allocate /22s to LIRs according to "IPv4 Address Allocation and Assignment Policies for the RIPE NCC Service Region".