The number of IPv4 addresses remaining has shrunk to 6.25 per cent of the total address pool in June from what was already considered a low ten per cent of IPv4 addresses unallocated in January according to a statement on the ARIN website from their president and CEO John Curran.ARIN has used statistics from the Number Resource Organization (NRO) and notes that since January IANA allocations to the five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs – of which ARIN is one) has reduced the remaining pool of addresses to just over six percent of addresses, with an anticipated run out in 2011 although with IANA policy to automatically give one address space block to each of the registries when the address pool reaches a certain level, the free pool of addresses could be depleted overnight.ARIN has made an urgent plea to encourage all organisations to adopt IPv6. However please have been made for several years for organisation to adopt IPv6 and each one seems to fall on deaf ears!Demand for IPv4 addresses have plateaued in North America while growth is still strong in the Asian region. And it is this demand in Asia that saw in the first half of 2010, IANA allocate more IPv4 addresses to the registries than in all of 2009 according to a Network World report.ARIN note they have been allocating IPv6 addresses since 1999 and has been actively advocating the need to deploy IPv6. In 2007, the ARIN Board of Trustees resolved to educate and inform the Internet community regarding IPv4 depletion and the increasing need to adopt IPv6. This resolution became part of a larger IPv6 outreach campaign to encourage those currently running IPv4 to begin adopting IPv6. As part of their campaign, in April of 2009 ARIN contacted by certified letter the CEOs of organisations in North America that currently hold IPv4 resources in its region to raise executive awareness of IPv4 depletion and IPv6 adoption.Without IPv6, ARIN say the internet’s expansion and innovation could be limited. Delaying IPv6 deployment may strain the work of Internet operators, application developers, and end users everywhere. Furthermore, organizations whose business model is dependent on availability of IP addresses may find their growth limited without adopting production IPv6.For more information, ARIN host the IPv6 Wiki to facilitate discussion and information sharing on IPv6 adoption topics and issues at www.getipv6.info. And for more information on ARIN, see www.arin.net.
Global Internet Number Resource Policies are defined by the ASO MOU – between ICANN and the NRO – as “Internet number resource policies that have the agreement of all RIRs according to their policy development processes and ICANN, and require specific actions or outcomes on the part of IANA or any other external ICANN-related body in order to be implemented”. Attachment A of this MOU describes the Development Process of Global Internet Number Resource Policies, including the adoption by every RIR of a global policy to be forwarded to the ICANN Board by the ASO, as well as its ratification by the ICANN Board. In this context, the ICANN Board adopted its own Procedures for the Review of Internet Number Resource Policies Forwarded by the ASO for Ratification.
(Proposal for handling recovered IPv4 address space)
Updated 3 June 2010
4 December 2009
11 June 2009
12 May 2009
4 September 2009
Among other features, these Procedures state that the Board will decide, as and when appropriate, that ICANN staff should follow the development of a particular global policy, undertaking an âearly awarenessâ tracking of proposals in the addressing community. To this end, staff should issue background reports periodically, forwarded to the Board, to all ICANN Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees and posted at the ICANN Web site.
At its meeting on 23 April 2009, the Board resolved to request tracking of the development of a Global Policy Proposal for the Allocation of IPv4 Blocks to Regional Internet Registries, under discussion in the addressing community. The status overview presented below is compiled in response to this request and will be further updated as developments proceed, for information to ICANN entities and the wider community. This is the fifth issue of the tracking of this policy.
The approach is that IANA will serve as repository for IPv4 blocks returned by the RIRs and then allocate them to the RIRs according to need. Two phases are foreseen:
1. Initially, IANA just collects recovered IPv4 space from the RIRs, no smaller than /24 blocks (256 addresses).
2. From the moment that the IANA free pool is exhausted (i.e. when the last five /8 blocks have been allocated according to an already ratified global policy), IANA also handles requests from RIRs (maximum of two requests per RIR per year) for IPv4 address space and allocates according to need and availability. The minimum allocation to an RIR is a /24 and the maximum allocation is one tenth of IANA’s available IPv4 address space. No allocation will take place in case that the above maximum allocation is less than a /24. In this phase, IANA will also continue to receive any recently recovered space from the RIRs.
Originally, a first global policy proposal draft for handling of recovered IPv4 address space was introduced in the APNIC region, rapidly followed by slightly modified proposals as follows:
- A version (prop-069-v001) “Global policy proposal for the allocation of IPv4 blocks to Regional Internet Registriesâ, introduced on the APNIC policy list on 23 Jan 2009
- A modified version (prop-069-v002), introduced on the APNIC policy list on 3 February 2009 and presented at the APNIC 27 meeting on 26 February 2009, where consensus was reached after some clarifications
- A version (prop-069-v003) clarified as agreed at APNIC 27 and adopted in APNIC on 22 May 2009.
The following relates to the most current version of the above proposals, hereinafter called version A, which has been introduced on the policy mailing lists and discussed at meetings in all other RIRs.
On 5 March 2009, the ASO AC recognized the proposal as fulfilling the formal requirements as a candidate for a Global Policy.
The proposal has also passed final call in AfriNIC and has been adopted in LACNIC. However, during the discussions in the ARIN region a modified text was proposed which, after further modifications to a new version, hereinafter called version B, has passed final call and been adopted in ARIN. RIPE awaited the outcome in ARIN before acting further on the proposal, which is now under renewed discussion in RIPE. A central issue in the current situation is whether and how the different versions can be reconciled to a single global policy.
Once the proposal has been adopted in all RIRs, i.e. ARIN, AfriNIC, LACNIC, RIPE and APNIC, and provided the version issue has been resolved, the proposal will be handled by the NRO EC and the ASO AC according to their procedures before being submitted to the ICANN Board for ratification.
The table below outlines the steps taken within each RIR for the current proposal. Hyperlinks are included for easy access.
Status of current proposal
This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
With less than 8% of available IPv4 addresses unallocated, ARIN will be holding a meeting next week to consider whether any policy changes are necessary for the transition to IPv6 to occur smoothly.
The meeting, to be held in Toronto, Canada, from April 18 to 21, will consider a number of draft policies and proposals. Some of the topics up for discussion by the Internet community are:
- Simplifying IPv6 allocation criteria
- Providing smaller blocks of IPv4 address space
- Handling IPv4 requests once address space becomes limited
- Changing the requirements for what information must be recorded in ARIN’s WHOIS database
“The Internet has become an irreplaceable part of how consumers and businesses communicate,” John Curran, president and CEO of ARIN, said in a statement.
“With less than 8% of IPv4 addresses still available, our mission is to consider any policy changes necessary for this transition to occur smoothly, and to continue discussions about this important issue. ARIN XXV will include important discussions on draft address allocation policy proposals, including several proposed changes that may affect IPv6 adoption.”
The transition to IPv6 is also being encouraged by the OECD who noted “IPv6 use was growing faster than continued IPv4 use, albeit from a low base. And several large-scale deployments are taking place or are planned.”
The report noted that “5.5% of networks on the Internet (1 800 networks) could handle IPv6 traffic by early 2010. IPv6 networks have grown faster than IPv4-only since mid-2007. Similarly, demand for IPv6 address blocks has grown faster than demand for IPv4 address blocks. Even more encouragingly, Internet infrastructure players seem to be actively readying for IPv6, with one out of five transit networks (i.e. networks that provide connections through themselves to other networks) handling IPv6. In practice, several indicators are closely correlated and point to the same countries as having the most IPv6 network services. These include Germany, the Netherlands, the United States, and the United Kingdom.”
However the report found “the number of potential users of IPv6 is quite high with over 90% of the installed base of operating systems being IPv6-capable, and roughly 25% of end users running an operating system that supports IPv6 by default in January 2010, such as Windows Vista or Mac OS X.”
But the report also found “actual IPv6 connectivity by users is very low. A one year experiment by Google estimated that just 0.25% of users had IPv6 connectivity (and chose IPv6 when given the choice) in September 2009, up from less than 0.2% one year before. After France, the top countries by percentage of native IPv6 capable users in September 2009 were China, Sweden, the Netherlands, the United States, and Japan.”
The report also noted that “only 1.45% of the top 1000 websites had an IPv6 website in January 2010, but this figure grew to 8% in March 2010 when Google websites were included. However, only 0.15% of the top 1 million websites had an IPv6 website in January 2010 (and just 0.16% in March 2010). A trend may be emerging whereby large websites are deploying IPv6 alongside IPv4, while the vast majority of smaller websites remain available only over IPv4.”
The report makes a number of recommendations, similar to those made in another report from 2008. “In May 2008, the OECD warned that Governments and business must tackle Internet address shortage together. In particular, governments and business needed to work together more effectively and urgently to meet the growing demand for Internet addresses and secure the future of the Internet economy by implementing IPv6. Not implementing IPv6, it warned, would impact the economic opportunities offered by the Internet with severe consequences in terms of stifled creativity and deployment of new services.”
“As the pool of unallocated IPv4 addresses dwindles, all stakeholders should anticipate the impacts of the transition period and plan accordingly to gather momentum for the deployment of IPv6 to decrease the pressure on IPv4. In particular, to create a policy environment conducive to the timely deployment of IPv6, governments should consider: i) Working with the private sector and other stakeholders to increase education and awareness and reduce bottlenecks; ii) Demonstrating government commitment to adoption of IPv6; and iii) Pursuing international co-operation and monitoring IPv6 deployment.”
The OECD report is available from:
More information on the ARIN meeting is available from:
IPv4 addresses are nearing full allocation, with over 92% of all available addresses already in use in March 2010. Global adoption of IPv6 – the long-term solution to the address space problem – would require a major increase in its use, in little time, and significant mobilization across all parts of the Internet. This report shows that while IPv6 use seems to be growing slightly faster than IPv4, IPv6 is not being deployed sufficiently quickly to intercept the estimated IPv4 exhaustion date, which could stifle creativity and the deployment of new services.
One of the major challenges for all stakeholders in thinking about the future of the Internet is its ability to scale to connect billions of people and devices. The Internet Protocol (IP) specifies how communications take place between one device and another through an addressing system. Each device must have an IP address in order to communicate. However, existing best projections are that the currently used version of the Internet Protocol, IPv4, will run out of previously unallocated addresses in 2012.1 IPv4 addresses are nearing full allocation, with just 8% of addresses remaining in March 2010.When IPv4 addresses run out, operators and companies must support IPv6 in order to add new customers or devices to their networks. Otherwise, they will need complex and expensive layers of network address translation (NAT) to share scarce IPv4 addresses among multiple users and devices. For this reason, the timely deployment of the newer version of the Internet Protocol (IPv6) by network operators and content/application providers is an increasing priority for all Internet stakeholders. In terms of public policy, IPv6 plays an important role in enabling innovation and scalability of the Internet. In addition, security, interoperability and competition issues are involved with the depletion of IPv4.The objective of this report is to investigate indicators of IPv6 deployment, to help raise awareness among policy makers of the level of IPv6 deployment on the Internet. Various indicators are presented in this report, each of which offers information on a specific aspect of IPv6 deployment and from a particular vantage point. The difficulty of such a measurement exercise and the many caveats associated with each indicator are underscored.Today, IPv6 is still a small proportion of the Internet. However, IPv6 use is growing faster than continuing IPv4 use, albeit from a low base. And several large-scale deployments are taking place or planned. Overall, the Internet is still in the early stages of a transition whereby end hosts, networks, services, and middleware are shifting from IPv4-only to support both IPv4 and IPv6. During a potentially long transition, both IPv4 and IPv6 will co-exist in “dual-stack” operation on most of the Internet, although some green-field IPv6-only deployments will also take place for new usage models such as mobile Internet or sensor networks deployments.To download this report in full, see:
Predictions for the exhaustion of IPv4 addresses in 2010 by IANA will not come true reports Enterprise Networking Planet, but it will happen in the next two to three years.The reports comes from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week where the American Registry for Internet Names (ARIN) was advocating that vendors start making the move to IPv6 now.”We’re at about 10.2 percent (IPv4 address space) remaining globally,” John Curran, president and CEO of ARIN told InternetNews.com. “At our current trend rate we’ve got about 625 days before we will not have new IPv4 addresses available. We’re still handling IPv4 requests from ISPs, hosting companies and large users for IPv4 address space, but that’s a very short time period.”To read this Enterprise Networking Planet report in full, see:
Geoff Huston writes: Many views of the transition to IPv6 assume that the combination of the factors of the imminent exhaustion of the unallocated pool of IPv4 addresses and the conventional dynamics of an open competitive marketplace in the ISP sector will be sufficient to propel the transition to IPv6. The question I would like to pose here is: Is this an appropriate view of the transition to IPv6? An alternative view is that this transition to IPv6 has already stalled over the past decade, and we should be prepared to view the current situation as an instance of a “market failure” in economic terms, where the transition will require the impetus of some form of response associated with the distribution of a “public good”, and that conventional market dynamics are in and of themselves incapable of sustaining such a transition. Continue reading Is the Transition to IPv6 a "Market Failure?"
Geoff Huston writes: Many views of the transition to IPv6 assume that the combination of the factors of the imminent exhaustion of the unallocated pool of IPv4 addresses and the conventional dynamics of an open competitive marketplace in the ISP sector will be sufficient to propel the transition to IPv6. The question I would like to pose here is: Is this an appropriate view of the transition to IPv6? An alternative view is that this transition to IPv6 has already stalled over the past decade, and we should be prepared to view the current situation as an instance of a “market failure” in economic terms, where the transition will require the impetus of some form of response associated with the distribution of a “public good”, and that conventional market dynamics are in and of themselves incapable of sustaining such a transition.To read this article by Geoff Huston in full, see his blog at:
The depletion of IPv4 addresses, and the transition to IPv6, has caught the attention of a “factual” paper from The Number Resource Organization, the body representing the four Regional Internet Registries.The paper explains what is IPv6. It gives a good analogy to help understand the magnitude of the number of addresses available in IPv6 when compared to IPv4. The paper says “IPv6 address space is huge and that to visualise it, to try comparing a golf ball (IPv4) to several times the planet (IPv6).The paper also notes that in the developed world there are around two IPv4 addresses used per head, and if this rate of use “was replicated throughout the world, a total of 12 billion addresses would be needed, an impossible achievement since IPv4 provides a maximum of just 4 billion addresses.”The paper also outlines how allocations of IP addresses are made and to whom, how IPv6 addresses are being allocated and a range of IP address-related other issues.To read the paper by the NRO, see:
U.S. ISPs are requesting more IPv6 addresses and fewer IPv4 addresses than ever before — a sign that carriers are investing in the future amidst one of the deepest recessions in modern history, reports Network World.
The shift in IP address requests shows that North American carriers are getting ready for the long-anticipated upgrade of the Internet’s main communications protocol from IPv4, the current standard, to the next-generation IPv6.
To read this Network World report in full, see: