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How Will The IPv4 Waiting List Work?

We will continue to make a small number of /24 IPv4 allocations after run-out, using a waiting list system that will work on a first-come, first-served basis.

Even though we will soon run out of IPv4, we will continue to recover small amounts of addresses for some time afterwards. These are addresses that have been de-registered when members go out of business or are closed down, or that members have chosen to return. The RIPE community has agreed that the best approach is to allocate any recovered addresses to members via a waiting list, using a smaller /24 allocation size (256 addresses). You can find more information in the IPv4 Policy.

Who Can Join the Waiting List?

In order to receive an IPv4 allocation from the waiting list, the following criteria apply:

  • You must have completed the process to become a RIPE NCC member (LIR)
  • The LIR requesting addresses must not have received an IPv4 allocation from the RIPE NCC previously (including via the waiting list)
  • The allocation must be used to make assignments
  • The address space must be used on a network with at least one active element in the RIPE NCC service region

How Will It Work?

  • The waiting list becomes active when we run out of IPv4 addresses
  • All allocations made via the waiting list will be a /24 (256 addresses)
  • Only one allocation per LIR account can be received through the waiting list, on a first-come, first-served basis
  • Once we have no more IPv4 to meet requests, we will add any further requests we receive to the waiting list (as /24 allocation requests) and notify the members
  • Any requests received after we reach IPv4 run-out will go directly to the waiting list
  • We will publish statistics on our website, including the number of LIRs on the waiting list
  • Members will be able to check their place in the queue via the LIR Portal

It is important that members understand they will only receive an IPv4 allocation via the waiting list “if and when” we have enough addresses. This could take a very long time, depending on the number of addresses that come back to us and the number of members on the waiting list.

How Does the RIPE NCC Handle Recovered IPv4 Addresses?

When we recover IPv4 addresses, we hold on to them for a quarantine period. During this time, we take a number of actions that help to make it clear that the addresses are no longer associated with their previous holder and should be considered as “new” address space. Once a block of IPv4 addresses has finished this process, we will allocate it to members in the order that they entered the waiting list.

It is impossible to predict how many addresses we will recover over the coming years – we do not expect that it will be many. The table below shows the number of addresses (not allocations) we have received in previous years and this may indicate what to expect.

IPv4 Addresses Recovered (2016-2018)

2016 83,712
2017 106,368
2018 53,824