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Inter-RIR IPv4 Transfers at RIPE68

Published on May 23rd, 2014

RIPE68 held in Warsaw, Poland marked the 25th anniversary of the Réseaux Internet Protocol Européens, the Regional Internet Registry for Europe and the Middle East. It was a well executed meeting with a large crowd of well over 500 attendees and many newcomers.

I attended RIPE68 on behalf of IPv4 Market Group and presented the IPv4 Inter-RIR policy to enable ARIN and APNIC region IPv4 transfers to and from RIPE region. The idea behind the policy is to leverage the rules of internal IPv4 transfers for external IPv4 transfers wherever possible. If a sending RIR has rules that do not exist in RIPE policy, then the RIPE NCC will work with its members to fulfill any requirements. Feedback from the RIPE NCC attendees was generally benign, and it is intended that a new policy will be posted for new discussion. We look for the assistance of the RIPE NCC community to pass this new proposal, which will increase the inventory of IPv4 addresses available to RIPE members.

A video of my RIPE68 presentation on the Inter-RIR policy is available here.

This new policy will therefore allow a RIPE member to perform needs justification as required by ARIN. There is a new ARIN proposal-in-waiting tabled, but not formally proposed, that would eliminate need, for IPv4 transfers of /16 and smaller address blocks. This really should be posted and passed. At the RIPE68 meeting, the ARIN update made the comment that ARIN is having more difficulty in preventing fraud, and is taking more and more needs justification iterations with requesters of IPs. If there was no needs assessment on IPv4 transfers, then the latter problem would be somewhat reduced.

Transfer of IPs is not the same as free allocations. Sure, justification on free allocations as a means to prevent “theft” is warranted now that IPs have a value. But, when companies are paying for IPs in the IPv4 transfer market, it makes no sense to force justification for blocks smaller than /16. I have heard the silly notion that needs justification is needed to prevent hoarding. It would be impossible to corner the IP market by buying ipv4 addresses one by one. RIPE NCC has had no needs justification since January and I don’t see them worried about hoarding. In fact it didn’t even come up at RIPE68.

Rob Blokzijl is moving on after 25 years as RIPE NCC Chair. He has done a remarkable job in directing an organization that serves a multitude of countries and languages. Perhaps the need to manage diversity has led to wisdom, as one of Rob’s parting pieces of advice was to reduce policy, particularly for IPv4, which is no longer being distributed, aside from the last /22s.  “Keep it simple” was Rob’s message.  Great job, Rob, and thanks for leading RIPE NCC down the right path.

It struck me at RIPE68, in a panel discussion about whether the US Government’s decision to hand over internet governance to a multi-stakeholder model, that it would not make a difference. I have seen no evidence that the Department of Commerce does anything now. The rest of the world is happy about the wrong thing being eliminated. Realize this: the United States controls the internet differently, through its monopoly on IPv4 addresses, which are the foundation on which the internet is run. ARIN is able, by directing the policy that controls the largest supply of IPv4 addresses, to control the policies that manage the globe. ARIN, not the US Government or the Department of Commerce, currently controls the internet. The multi-stakeholder model needs to move to IPv6 or take down ARIN’s control of IPV4. What irony that we talk about the Department of Commerce’s role, when we should be talking about ARIN’s abuse of resources.

Enough musings from RIPE68.  Help pass the RIPE inter-RIR IPv4 transfer policy and overturn the ARIN monopoly on IPv4 by jumping on the mailing list and supporting no needs justification on transfers of blocks of /16 and less.