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Revision of Last /8 Allocation Criteria

Summary of proposal

According to the current IPv4 address allocation policy (since September 2012), each LIR is entitled to receive exactly one /22 – no more, no less. This is the strictest “runout” policy among the RIRs and is creating serious problems for small players and especially new entrants who wish to remain competitive.

Policy text

a. Current policy text

5.1 Allocations made by the RIPE NCC to LIRs

[...]

1. The size of the allocation made will be exactly one /22.
2. The sum of all allocations made to a single LIR by the RIPE NCC after the 14th of September 2012 is limited to a maximum of 1024 IPv4 addresses (a single /22 or the equivalent thereof).
3. The LIR must confirm it will make assignment(s) from the allocation.

b. New policy text

5.1 Allocations made by the RIPE NCC to LIRs

[...]

1. The size of the allocation made will be the equivalent of a /22.
2. The LIR must confirm it will make assignment(s) from the allocation.
3. An equivalent of a /22 allocation can be requested every 18 months from the moment of the last allocation if the following conditions are met:
    1. The LIR has not transferred any IPv4 address space out of its
registry.
    2. There is enough space in the free pool to perform the allocation
[...]

Rationale

a. Arguments supporting the proposal

  • The RIPE NCC has the strictest policy of allocations from the remaining IPv4 address pool. All of the other RIRs allow more than a single /22 per member as long as enough address space is available.
  • 36 months after the activation of the “last /8 policy”, the RIPE NCC still had more than 99% of the equivalent of a /8 mostly due to address space being recovered and re-allocated by IANA.
  • In a number of markets, not being able to provide at least a single IPv4 address per customer prevents members from performing, regardless of the ample availability of IPv6 address space.
  • Faster depletion of the free IPv4 pool may force the adoption of IPv6 on certain members.
  • LIRs that opened after 14 September 2012 can only have a /22 allocated by the RIPE NCC as per the current policy, which gives them a disadvantage compared to older LIRs that were able to obtain at least a /21 regardless of their needs.

b. Arguments opposing the proposal

  • Further allocations will speed up the depletion of the free pool.
  • If preserving the free IPv4 address pool is no longer a goal, more radical approaches exist.
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