ICANN Recovers Large Block of Internet Address Space

ICANN logoICANN has found a little breathing room in the IPv4 address space with its recovery of a block of 16 million IPv4 addresses.

The IP addresses recovered were once used to connect older protocol packet-data networks with the fledgling Internet. The block of addresses, technically referred to as, is also known as Net-14.

“Net-14 was the easiest network to reclaim, the so-called low hanging fruit,” said Barbara Roseman, General Manager with the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority , which is operated by ICANN. “None of the other legacy assignments in the IPv4 space are likely to be completely reclaimed as they are all in active use.”

A small percentage of the addresses in Net-14 had been assigned, most more than 15 years ago. The assignments were so old that finding people who knew about them was a lengthy process. Nearly 50 organizations worked cooperatively with ICANN staff throughout 2007 to confirm that the 984 registrations were no longer in use.

IANA undertook the reclamation effort to ensure that the greatest number of IPv4 addresses can be made available to Internet users as the overall free pool of IPv4 addresses is depleted. IANA allocates IPv4 and IPv6 addresses to Regional Internet Registries (RIRs). The five RIRs allocate addresses to network operators in their local regions. IANA allocated more than one /8 (16m IPv4 addresses) per month in 2007 and the rate of allocation is not expected to slow in 2008.

The reclamation of Net-14 means there are now 43 unallocated /8s left.

“The recovery of these addresses offers some breathing room as the four billion addresses in IPv4 space are depleted – but it is only a temporary solution,” added Roseman. “The real and lasting solution is the technical move to IPv6 — the protocol that will make 340 trillion trillion trillion unique IP addresses available.”

About ICANN:

ICANN is responsible for the global coordination of the Internet’s system of unique identifiers like domain names (like .org, .museum and country codes like .uk) and the addresses used in a variety of Internet protocols that help computers reach each other over the Internet. Careful management of these resources is vital to the Internet’s operation, so ICANN’s global stakeholders meet regularly to develop policies that ensure the Internet’s ongoing security and stability. ICANN is an internationally organized, public benefit non-profit company. For more information please visit: icann.org .

About IANA:

The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) is the body responsible for coordinating some of the key elements that keep the Internet running smoothly. Whilst the Internet is renowned for being a worldwide network free from central coordination, there is a technical need for some key parts of the Internet to be globally coordinated – and this coordination role is undertaken by IANA.

This announcement and more news about ICANN can be found at icann.org/announcements/announcement-2-10feb08.htm