The IPv4 transfer market adjusts to decreasing large-block supply, IPv6 connectivity inches up, and the IPv4 network keeps growing

Transfer Activity

The market shift we noted in our last report – the number of transactions increasing as volume of transferred numbers declines - has continued to play out through the end of Q1 2016.  Market activity remains high in the ARIN region – with nearly 60% more 8.3 and 8.4 transactions combined than Q4 2015 but without the steady stream of large block (>1M numbers) transactions that marked Q1 2015.  Altogether 164 separate 8.3 and 8.4 transactions have been reported by ARIN.

Transfers made pursuant to the new RIPE inter-RIR transfer policy are finally picking up steam.  Of the 22 inter-RIR transfers in Q1 2016, more than a third were to or from the RIPE region.  The single largest ARIN-related transaction of Q1 was an inter-RIR transfer into the APNIC region, where Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba picked up another million addresses from the Nortel block.   The relaxed volume levels, however, reflect not so much a lack of continued demand as a dearth of available large block supply.


Block prices in Q1 2016 edged up over the course of the quarter.  Pricing for large blocks (>1M numbers) closed out closer to $6.50/number, some very small blocks (<4,000 numbers) approached $12.00/number and medium-sized blocks are settling at the mid-to-upper end of their current $7-$8/number range.  We expect these trends to continue as the market grapples with tighter supply.

IPv6 Deployment

Worldwide global native IPv6 connectivity will likely hit 11% in April, having reached a high of 10.72% in March with weekday connectivity still hovering in the 8-9% range.   The IPv6 deployment statistics overall show gains over the course of the quarter though the relative rates of deployment remain the same – with the U.S. taking the lead, followed by Europe, and then APAC and LAC bringing up the rear.  Altogether 20 countries worldwide had IPv6 deployment exceeding 5% in Q1.  According to the Vyncke analysis on IPv6-enabled browsers, worldwide, IPv6-enabled browsers are expected to reach 50% in September 2021 (compared with August 2021 in our February report).


Akamai released its Q4 2015 State of the Internet Report, concluding that the IPv4 network is experiencing continued growth even as large cable and mobile providers drive growth in IPv6 deployment.  A proposal before the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to declare IPv4 “historic,” was quickly refuted by APNIC’s Chief Scientist, Geoff Huston, who countered that “reports of [IPv4’s] demise are severely exaggerated!”