IPv4 Market Update – March 2015

The ARIN IPv4 free pool continues to decline while the transfer market is heating up and IPv6 penetration continues at a glacial pace.  In the meantime RIPE’s draft policy that  would open up the ARIN market to interRIR transfers with Europe is in its final phase.

IANA distributed another round of recovered IPv4 numbers on March 2, and ARIN received a /13.  The ARIN pool continues its steady decline -- with fewer than 4.5M numbers remaining for allocation.  Depletion of ARIN’s free pool is estimated for mid-June.  It is unlikely that big block allocations will last that long, however.  There are now 3 /12s available for allocation and the largest block size available is a /11.   Notwithstanding the decline, ARIN continues to allocate large blocks although none have exceeded a /13 so far this year.

The ARIN transfer market is heating up.  Fewer than 5M IPv4 numbers were transferred between private parties in 2014.  In Q1 of 2015 alone, more than 11M numbers have been transferred.  The largest ARIN to APNIC inter-RIR transfer occurred in March when an Alibaba group subsidiary in China registered nearly 1 million numbers from address space held previously by Nortel.

IPv6 penetration continues to hover around 5-6%.  There has been virtually no change in the number of big websites reachable over v6 over the last 6 months.  This month, the IPv6 connectivity for several large companies (e.g., Comcast, Cisco, Deutsche Telecom) dropped substantially.

The RIPE transfer market remains active – both the number of transactions and quantity of numbers transferred exceeds transaction volumes at this time last year.

A RIPE policy that would allow interRIR transfers between RIPE and ARIN, and between RIPE and APNIC reached the end of the last call stage on April 3.  We are monitoring the policy proposal closely.  If adopted, the global IPv4 market would be impacted significantly.  The excess supply in North American could be sold to meet the pent up demand in Europe and the Middle East.

In the news, Telstra ran out of IPv4 numbers, Akamai issued its Q4 2014 “State of the Internet” report and the extinction of IPv4 is reported to be a long way off.  Articles on these and other stories can be found on the Avenue4 resources page.