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16-bit ASN Depletion Date Near


Further to the recent announcement (21st January 2014) from the Number Resource Organization (NRO) regarding the approaching depletion of the 16-bit ASN pool, AFRINIC would like to highlight the following to our members and the community:

  • AFRINIC is currently issuing AS numbers from a 32-bit (undifferentiated) pool according to the global policy adopted by ICANN on 20th September 2010.
  • In-line with the IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) policy for allocation of ASN blocks to Regional Internet Registries and according to our current consumption rates and those of the other RIRs, AFRINIC may not be able to acquire another block of 16-bit only ASNs, as they may have been depleted by the other RIRs at the point in time when we would have requested a subsequent block.
  • We have (therefore) reserved 237 (16-bit only) ASNs. These are for unforeseen circumstances pertaining to the ongoing deployment and usage of 32-bit ASNs, such as the possibility that the equipment of a network operator’s peers being not able to support 32-bit ASNs, among others.

AFRINIC strongly encourages our members and all network operators in the community to check for 32-bit ASN functionality before purchasing new equipment, and to upgrade current non-compliant equipment in order to support the 32-bit ASN standard, as 16-bit only ASNs will soon be depleted from the IANA pool, and will no longer be available by all RIRs for assignment to network operators in their respective regions.



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