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Getting Ready for IPv4 Run-out

We expect to run out of IPv4 addresses sometime in late 2019. It is therefore important that our members know what they can expect from us. This section describes our processes as we approach run-out and explains what will happen afterwards.

IPv4 run-out is not coming as a surprise – this has long been anticipated and planned for by the technical community. Nevertheless, all stakeholders should be aware of the likely impacts run-out will have on individual networks and the wider Internet. Everyone has a part to play in supporting the deployment of IPv6, which is the best long-term solution to the problems created by IPv4 exhaustion.

After Run-out

  • The allocation size will change from a /22 to a /24 (1,024 -> 256 addresses)
  • We will continue to recover a small amount of IPv4 addresses for the foreseeable future
  • All new IPv4 requests will be added to a new waiting list to receive a /24 allocation of recovered addresses on a first-come, first-served basis
  • Only LIRs that have never received an IPv4 allocation from the RIPE NCC will be eligible to join the waiting list

The Current Situation

We publish weekly statistics that show the number of IPv4 addresses in our pool. As long as we still have addresses remaining, RIPE NCC members (LIRs) can each receive one final allocation from us. These are limited to 1,024 addresses which will be issued as one /22 prefix or a number of smaller prefixes. Once an LIR has received its final allocation, it cannot receive any more IPv4 addresses from the RIPE NCC.

We exhausted our supply of “new” IPv4 addresses in 2018. Since then we have been allocating recovered addresses that were used on other networks. These addresses were returned once they were no longer needed or reclaimed when a member went bankrupt or was closed. Before we re-allocate these addresses, we take a number of steps which help to establish that they are no longer associated with their previous holder.

We are currently allocating single contiguous /22 IPv4 blocks to our members. However, we also have a number of smaller /23 and /24 blocks in our pool (512 and 256 addresses respectively). When we run out of /22s, we will start making equivalent-sized allocations from these smaller blocks. And once we can no longer allocate a /22 or a /22-equivalent, we will announce that we have reached IPv4 run-out.

The table below shows these steps as we reach IPv4 run-out:

When Date How IPv4 Requests Are Processed
When we have less than one /8 block of IPv4 addresses remaining 15/09/2012 Each LIR can receive one /22 IPv4 allocation in the form of a single prefix
Once we have no more /22 prefixes 02/10/2019 Each LIR can receive one /22 IPv4 allocation in the form of multiple smaller prefixes (/23s and/or /24s)
Once all available IPv4 address space is exhausted Not yet reached LIRs can enter a waiting list to receive one /24 IPv4 allocation when addresses are returned in the future