IPv4 Market Update – August 2015

August saw 5 million+ numbers transferred in or from the ARIN region, escalating IPv4 market participation, and a still gradual rate of IPv6 adoption; network operators settle into a “new normal.”

In August, the ARIN IPv4 free pool dipped below 100 /24s.  Based on the monthly depletion rate, the free pool should be clocking in at “0” this coming month.  There were no large block allocations by ARIN in August though there was a large block transfer of nearly 5 million numbers out of the Nortel block.   There were two large block inter-RIR transfers between the ARIN and APNIC regions and the RIPE transfer market continues its general trend toward higher volumes.

In the LACNIC region, three new policy proposals were introduced with an eye toward extending the life of IPv4.  Collectively, these policies proposed to double the volume of numbers available for allocation from the free pool, ease requirements related to reclamation of unclaimed blocks, and discourage flipping of free pool allocations.  All policies are in the discussion phase.  RIPE issued an announcement yesterday on the status of its new inter-RIR transfer policy, stating that most of the internal processes and software have been updated and RIPE NCC expects implementation to be fully completed by the end of September.

The number of buyers entering the IPv4 market has increased noticeably over the last month.  This increase in demand has not yet produced a corresponding uptick in pricing but supply and demand, particularly in the large block transactions, is balancing out.  The period of surplus that helped to drive prices down in North America over the last two years is coming to an end.  We expect prices to rise over the next 6-12 month as organizations settle into the “new normal” – where IPv4 is still prevalent, critical, and available but now network operators rely on the market, instead of the RIRs, to obtain the IP numbers they need.

IPv6 content hit new highs both globally (8%) and in the U.S. (21%) in July but stayed pretty steady in August and the number of Alex Top 1000 websites reachable over IPv6 hasn’t changed much in the last 3 months.

In the news, the IANA contract has been extended for at least 1 more year, Geoff Huston posted articles on exhaustion of the APNIC IPv4 pool and transfer market, and Avenue4 posted a new blog refuting the persistent, but erroneous, belief that IPv4 will blow up the BGP table.