IPv4 Market Update – May 2015

As the ARIN free pool steadily dwindles to empty - now with the lowest number of IPv4 addresses of any RIR, prices bottom out, and news on IPv4 exhaustion picks up speed.  Meanwhile, the UK government comes off the sidelines, selling its first trance of numbers in the IPv4 market. 

The ARIN free pool – with just 2.5 million numbers remaining – now has the fewest IPv4 numbers of any RIR.  The largest block sizes currently available comprise a single /11, /15 and /16, but there have been reports that ARIN may have already approved a request that could deplete what remains in its pool.  While ARIN large block allocations have dwindled, the IPv4 market has picked up the slack.  In May, ARIN registered transfers (in region) of a /15 to Optimum Online, /14 to and Alibaba, and /16s each to Secured Servers, Alcatel-Lucent and Facebook.  There was also an inter-RIR transfer of a /16 from Nortel in ARIN to NTT Docomo in APNIC.

Prices are bottoming out and expected to increase – especially once ARIN is depleted and the RIPE inter-RIR transfer policy is fully implemented in August.  In North America, the going rate for /16s has been in the $7-$8 range. We predict that prices will rise by at least 10 to 20% by early this fall.

Global IPv6 connectivity reached a high of 6.88% in mid-May.  Connectivity in the US reached nearly 18%.   Approximately 16% of Alexa Top 1000 websites are now reachable over IPv6, which represents just a 2.6% increase over the last 8 months.

In the news, the UK government sold 150,000 numbers to a Norwegian cable company with plans to possibly unload a few million more. A Wall Street Journal article posted on May 13th by Robert McMillan reporting on the IPv4 market triggered numerous spin off blog posts and articles on IPv4 exhaustion.  Gary Audin’s May 8th post on No Jitter discussed how the IPv4 market may be used by some network operators to extend the planning horizon for their IPv6 deployments.   Network World (in an article authored by Avenue4’s Marc Lindsey and Janine Goodman) tackle next steps by providing concrete advice on how buyers and sellers can navigate the IPv4 market.   For more news, please visit the Avenue4 resources page.