IPv4 Market Update – September 2015

The ARIN free pool runs dry, a new ARIN policy proposal seeks to remove all needs requirements for transfers, the North American  IPv4 trading market continues to boom, and implementation of the new RIPE interRIR transfer policy promises to expand the global market.

In September, the ARIN free pool finally hit “0” followed by a slew of articles in the trade press on ARIN run out and the need to migrate to IPv6.  There was one large block transfer – a /12 out of the Nortel block.  ARIN’s transfer stats through August 2015 demonstrate substantial growth in the transfer market.  Numbers transferred through August nearly quadrupled the numbers transferred during all of 2014 and the number of transfers has already doubled.  The RIPE transfer market also has experienced significant growth though not quite so dramatic.

A new draft ARIN policy that proposes to remove all needs basis requirements for Sections 8.2, 8.3 and 8.4 transfers was issued in mid-September.  Unsurprisingly there was push back on this proposal in the ARIN public policy mailing list (PPML); however, more than in the past there seems to be more interest in relaxing needs requirements now that the ARIN free pool is completely depleted.  The NANOG/ARIN meetings in Montreal next week will shed further light on whether there is enough community support for this type of action.  Meanwhile, on September 30, RIPE NCC announced that it had fully implemented its interRIR policy so the market should start seeing RIPE/ARIN transfers in the coming weeks/months.

IPv6 connectivity hit nearly 9% globally.  The U.S. has hovered around 21% for the last 3 months after seeing a jump in deployment – likely a reaction to ARIN’s announcement on July 1 that it had activated its waitlist.  The number of Alexa Top 1000 websites reachable over IPv6 hasn’t changed much in the last several months – hovering around 16% since May.  Large U.S. wireless and cable providers continue to be the leaders in deploying IPv6.

We’re seeing prices of around $7.50-$8 for a /16, higher for smaller blocks and lower for larger blocks.  All indications are that pricing has bottomed out.

In the news, Akamai issued its second quarter State of the Internet report for 2015, and found that although IPv4 connections fell during the 2nd quarter, overall there was an uptick in connections since 2014 among 70% of countries and regions globally, accounting for an overall increase of 2.8% since last year.   BT announced that it plans to fully deploy IPv6 by the end of 2016; Apple released its latest mobile operating system, iOS9 upgrade, which supports IPv6 and has resulted in increased IPv6 usage; and the Government Digital Service of the UK commented on its completion of a sale of IPv4 numbers belonging to the Department of Work and Pensions, noting “significant demand” for IPv4 addresses and its continued interest in participating in the market.  Avenue4, in its latest Network World article, addressed how changes in ARIN’s registry and transfer policies could enhance transparency in the IPv4 trading market and better bridge the gap between IPv4 exhaustion and IPv6 adoption.