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Global Policy for the Allocation of the Remaining IPv4 Address Space - AFPUB-2007-v4-003

Ref Name AFPUB-2007-v4-003 Old Ref. afpol-v4gp200707
Status Withdrawn
Date 30 Oct 2007
Author(s) Tony Hain
Organisation Cisco Systems

 Policy summary

This policy will establish a process for RIR-to-RIR redistribution of the tail-end of the IPv4 pool, taking effect after the IANA reserve is exhausted. Each redistribution allocation will be triggered by the recipient RIR depleting its reserve to a 30-day supply, and will result in up to a 3-month supply being transferred from the RIR with the longest remaining time before it exhausts its own pool.

 Policy statement

At the point when any given RIR is within 30 days of depleting its remaining IPv4 pool, a survey will be taken of the other 4 to determine the remaining time before each of them exhausts their pool (including both member use and recent redistribution allocations to other RIRs). The one with the longest window before exhausting its pool will be designated as the source RIR. The recipient RIR will follow procedures for an LIR in the source RIR region to request a block that is expected to be sufficient for up to 3 months, but is no larger than 1/8th of the source RIR's remaining pool. At the point where no RIR can supply a block that is less than 1/8th of their remaining pool that will sustain the recipient RIR for 30 days, the recipient RIR will collect its requests each week, and forward those individual requests to the source RIR designated that week.


This policy will establish a mechanism for the allocation of IPv4 address blocks between RIRs, but will not go into effect until the IANA pool has been depleted.

It is really bizarre to watch the maneuvering as the global RIR community grapples with 'fairness' of distributing the last few IANA Reserve /8 blocks. On one level this just appears to be petty sibling rivalry, as people are bickering over who gets the last cookie and whimpering about 'fairness'. At the same time, each RIR is chartered to look after the interests of its membership so it is to be expected that they will each want to get as much as possible to meet the needs of their respective membership. Existing practice requires RIR's to acquire blocks from IANA, which leads to the current round of nonsense about optimal distribution of the remaining pool based on elaborate mathematical models.  

This globally submitted policy proposal attempts to resolve the issue by shifting to an RIR-to-RIR Allocation model after the IANA pool is depleted. This policy would effectively result in each RIR becoming a virtual LIR member of all of the other RIR's for the sole purpose of managing the tail-end of the IPv4 pool.

Timetable for implementation: Before 1/1/2009

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