Paul Wilson APNIC ==== Proposal: Recovery of Unused Address Space Author: APNIC Secretariat Version 1.0 Summary Within the address space managed by APNIC, there is a large quantity of "historical" address space which was allocated prior to the establishment of any service agreement by APNIC. This address space is not subject to any formal written agreement and policies regarding its usage may not be clear. In many cases historical address blocks are unrouted and therefore likely to be unused, and in many cases the original custodian of the address space is not contactable. Such address space is increasingly the target for hijacking or squatting, and may be used for illegal or antisocial purposes such as hacking and spamming. This document proposes to reclaim historical address space which has been previously allocated or assigned, but which is determined to be unused. After reclamation, such address space will be identifiable and therefore less likely to be targetted for misuse, and it may eventually be reallocated for active use as it is required by the Internet community. Definitions Historical address space is defined as address space which is not covered by a current agreement with APNIC (either by a membership or non-membership services agreement). Unrouted address space is defined as address space which has not been routed on the Internet for some specified period of time, as determined by the Routing Information Service (RIS) or other agreed means. Unused address space is defined as address space which is both unrouted and not used for any private purpose. Background APNIC has assumed management of historical address space from various sources, including the Early Registry Transfer (ERX) project, AUNIC, and APNIC's own early registrations. ERX is providing the majority of this space (originating from the early InterNIC and related registries), and is due for completion during 2004. It is clear that a significant amount of historical address space is not used, and has not been used for a long time. Currently, around 36% of all address space which has been allocated does not appear in the global routing tables. Assuming much of this space is unused, then such space could be made available for redistribution to other address space users, providing an improvement in overall address space utilisation and an extension of the useful life of the IPv4 address space as a whole. IPv4 address space has always been allocated or assigned on an understanding that it is for use in operational networks which are connected to the Internet, and for some time (at least since RFC2050) this has been a clear policy requirement. Although early allocation policies were not well formulated, it has never been accepted that address space could be acquired and kept indefinitely without being used. Proposal It is now proposed that where address space has been allocated or assigned but has not been used for a reasonable period of time, action should be taken to recover that address space. Under this proposal the following administrative steps would be taken: 1. A list of "top-level" historical address blocks will be obtained from the APNIC allocation manager. This will contain all historical address blocks directly allocated or assigned by APNIC itself, or by another registry and later inherited by APNIC. 2. For every block in that list, the Routing Information Service (RIS) will be consulted to determine whether the address block (or any portion of it) has been routed ince the establishment of the system in 2002. Blocks which have not been routed will be added to a list of unrouted blocks. 3. For every block which has not been routed, contact details will be obtained from available sources, and notification will be sent by available means of the intent to revoke unused address space. Responses will be tracked using dedicated return email addresses and APNIC's request tracking system. 4. Responses to these contacts will be handled as follows: A. if response is received and address space holder agrees to return address space, records will be updated accordingly, putting address space into "reclaimed" status. B. if response is received and address space holder does not agree to return address space, records will be updated accordingly. The handling of such blocks will be the subject of policies to be developed in future. C. if no response is received (or if only error responses or bounces are received) then the address block concerned will remain on the list for later action. 5. After all blocks have been processed, the process will pause for 2 months, then steps 2-4 above will be repeated. 6. After a period of 12 months, address blocks which are still unused and for which no response has been received will be placed into "reclaimed" status. After this project is complete, tha process of monitoring the "used" status of APNIC address blocks may be operationalised, so that this status information is available for use in cases of membership closure, transfer or dispute. NIR Considerations NIRs may choose to follow this process with regard to unused address space which exists with address blocks allocated to them. It is hoped that NIRs may also provide assistance to APNIC in contacting the holders of unused historical address space which is located within their respective economies. Implementation It is proposed that this project should be announced and commenced 6 months after approval.