2016 opens with strong IPv4 transfer activity, relaxed urgency on IPv6 migration

Transfer Activity
Transfer activity in 2016 is off to a strong start.  Last January there were 7 transactions reflected in the ARIN registry. This January, 41 separate transactions have been reported by ARIN – the largest number of monthly transactions to date.  Although there have been no exceptionally large transactions within the ARIN region so far (in terms of volume of numbers), inter-RIR transfers to the APNIC region have been picking up some of the slack with a transfer of a /13 (524,288) from Nortel to Reliance Jio, which also purchased a /14 (262,144) in December.  In our 2015 State of the IPv4 Market Report we predicted that the number of transactions would increase but volume of transferred numbers would likely decline.  This seems to be playing out although we expect there will still be a few /12+ transactions before the year is out.

Block prices in 2016 are continuing from where they left off in Q4 2015.   Pricing for large blocks (<1M) (~$6.25/number) is still significantly lower than the very small blocks (4,000>) (~$11.00) but edging up.  Mid-size blocks are holding steady at the $7-$8 range.   Many buyers looking to find a good deal toward the end of 2016 had some luck.   Those sellers that remain in the market, however, have higher price expectations and are unwilling to part with their inventory on the cheap.   We expect pricing to reflect these higher seller expectations as the year progresses.

IPv6 Deployment
The urgent cries to immediately migrate to IPv6 have died down and the data for January and February reflect this lack of urgency.   Worldwide global native IPv6 connectivity hit 10% on January 1 and while it surges to around 10.5% on weekends, connectivity has been hovering in the 8-9% range.   Similarly, the IPv6 deployment statistics for those major network operators that have been  leading IPv6 deployment have been a bit sluggish, including those European companies such as DT, Belgacom and Swisscom that, along with the U.S. companies, have been at the forefront of driving deployment.   According to the Vyncke analysis on IPv6 enabled browsers (using Google data and applying a regression formula), worldwide, IPv6 enabled browsers are expected to reach 50% in August 2021.

The trade press appears to have recognized this lack of IPv6 fervor and seeks to drive home the  importance of shifting to IPv6 while at the same time acknowledging that IPv4 and the IPv4 market are here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future.   Geoff Huston’s report on NANOG 66 provides a particularly good overview of IPv6 – both in terms of deployment and performance.