Internet Society Comments on IPv4 Address Depletion and Transfers

On 15th April 2011, the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC) announced that it had reached the last significant block of Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) addresses in its available pool – making the Asia Pacific region the first to reach the point of being unable to meet regular IPv4 demand.
While other regions’ IPv4 address pools are decreasing at a slower rate, this latest milestone in the Internet’s evolution underlines the importance of a rapid migration to IPv6 for all. If we want the Internet current rate of growth to continue, a common system for addressing is vital. We encourage organizations to develop or accelerate their plans to deploy IPv6, the successor to IPv4 and the only viable path forward for the Internet.
APNIC’s reaching the final block of addresses triggers a new approach to allocating addresses in the Asia Pacific region. This scarcity means that companies cannot continue with ‘business as usual’ in network growth. Among the possible coping strategies, it is expected some will choose to pay to acquire rights to use IPv4 addresses from others – an expensive undertaking given recent estimates of approximately US$11 per address.
For the continued smooth operation of the Internet, including its security and stability, it is imperative that these re-used addresses are administered responsibly. In an open letter, Internet Society President and CEO Lynn St.Amour this month strongly urged that such transfers be effected per appropriate RIR processes. The Internet Society therefore recognizes and supports the work of the five Regional Internet Registry (RIR) open policy forums on the matters of administration and management of IP addresses in the case of transfers.
RIR open policies are developed to provide the full range of administrative responsibilities for these key Internet resources. As such, they are applicable to address space that has been transferred from elsewhere, as much as to newly allocated space. If addresses are transferred outside the scope of the processes defined by the RIRs, it could negatively impact Internet routing table sizes as transfers cause de-aggregation of address blocks. Also, accurate and timely registration of administrative information pertaining to address block use is important for facilitating resolution of operational and security issues.
As part of its work to encourage the timely deployment of IPv6, the Internet Society is coordinating World IPv6 Day on 8 June 2011. Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, Akamai and Limelight Networks will be amongst some of the major organisations that will offer their content over IPv6 for a rigorous 24-hour global “test drive”. This large scale test of IPv6 will enable participants to test the readiness of their systems under controlled conditions, enabling them to prepare for large-scale IPv6 adoption.
For additional information and the complete statements, please see:
APNIC IPv4 depletion http://isoc.org/wp/newsletter/?p=3592 and
Transfer of Internet Protocol Addresses http://isoc.org/wp/newsletter/?p=3585
For more information about World IPv6 Day or about IPv6 deployment, please visit http://www.internetsociety.org/worldipv6day/