[sig-policy] prop-050: IPv4 address transfers
The proposal "IPv4 address transfers" has been sent to the Policy SIG
for review. It will be presented at the Policy SIG at APNIC 24 in
New Delhi, India, 29 August - 7 September 2007.
I invite you all to review the proposal below and send comments to the
mailing list before APNIC 24.
The proposal's history can be found at:
Policy SIG Chair
prop-050-v001: IPv4 address transfers
Author: Geoff Huston
gih at apnic dot net
Date: 26 July 2007
This is a proposal to remove APNIC policy restrictions on the transfer
of registration of IPv4 address allocations and IPv4 portable address
assignments between current APNIC account holders. This proposal is a
refinement of the historical resource transfer policy and applies to
IPv4 resources held by current APNIC account holders.
2. Summary of current problem
Current APNIC policies relating to the registration of transfer of
address holdings limit the eligibility of registration of transfers to
those relating to mergers and acquisitions of entities that are
administering an operational network.
It is currently anticipated that the IPv4 unallocated address pool
will be exhausted in a timeframe of between 2009 and 2011. There is a
very considerable level of investment in IPv4-based services in the
Asia Pacific region, and a transition to IPv6-based service delivery
is likely to take longer than the remaining period of unallocated
address availability. Accordingly, it is likely that demand for IPv4
addresses will continue beyond the time of unallocated address pool
exhaustion, leading to a period of movement of IPv4 address blocks
between address holders to meet such continuing demand for IPv4
It is the objective of the APNIC IPv4 address registry to accurately
record current address distribution information.
This proposal advocates that APNIC recognise the transfer of IPv4
addresses between current APNIC account holders, and places some
constraints on the parties to the transfer as a precondition for the
registration of the IPv4 address transfer to be undertaken by APNIC.
3. Situation in other RIRs
It is the understanding of the proposer that no comparable IPv4
resource transfer policy between account holders has been adopted in
any other RIR.
4. Details of the proposal
APNIC will process IPv4 address transfer requests following the
adoption of this proposed policy, subject to the following conditions:
Conditions on the IPv4 address block:
- Only IPv4 address blocks equal to, or larger than, a /24 prefix
may be transferred.
- The address block must be in the range of addresses administered
by APNIC, either as part of a /8 address block assigned by the
IANA to APNIC, or as part of a historically-assigned address
block now administered by APNIC.
- The address block must be allocated or assigned to a current
APNIC account holder.
- The address block will be subject to all current APNIC policies
from the time of transfer. This includes address blocks
previously considered to be "historical".
Conditions on source of the transfer:
- The source entity must be a current APNIC account holder.
- The source entity must be the currently registered holder of the
IPv4 address resources, and not be involved in any dispute as to
the status of those resources.
- The source entity will be ineligible to receive any further IPv4
address allocations or assignments from APNIC for a period of 24
months after the transfer.
- In making any future IPv4 address resource requests to APNIC,
for as long as IPv4 address resources are available from APNIC,
following the expiration of this 24 month ineligibility
period, the source will be required to document the reasons for
the IPv4 address resource allocation.
Conditions on recipient of the transfer:
- The recipient entity must be a current APNIC account holder.
- The recipient entity of the transferred resources will be
subject to current APNIC policies. In particular, in any
subsequent APNIC IPv4 address allocation request, the recipient
will be required to account for all IPv4 address space held,
including all transferred resources.
- APNIC fees payable by the recipient will be assessed on the
basis of all resources held.
The address transfer process:
After APNIC is notified of the transfer by both the source and the
recipient of the transfer:
1. APNIC will update the registration records relating to the
2. APNIC will adjust the source's address holdings as of the date
In terms of membership and/or service fee calculations this
shall be processed in the same manner as a return of address
holdings to APNIC as of that date.
3. APNIC will adjust the recipient's address holdings to include
the transferred addresses as of the date of the transfer.
In terms of membership and/or service fee calculations this
shall be processed in the same manner as an allocation or
assignment of address holdings to the recipient as of that date.
4. The following transfer details will be published by APNIC in a
public log of resource transfers:
- Address resources
- Date of transfer
APNIC may charge the recipient a service fee on the transfer
transaction. The transfer service fee may vary according to the
total size of the address block being transferred.
The transfer fee schedule shall be set initially by the APNIC
Executive Council upon adoption of this policy. The transfer fee
schedule will be included as part of any future review of APNIC
fees and charges.
5. Advantages and disadvantages of the proposal
This proposal would:
- Ensure that the APNIC registry continues to reflect the current
actual status of IPv4 resource holdings by APNIC account holders.
- Mitigate the risks to the integrity of the network and its
routing and addressing infrastructure associated with the
unregistered transfers of IPv4 addresses. This proposal, by
acknowledging the existence of address transfers and registering
the outcomes would ensure that the APNIC address registry
continues to maintain accurate data about resources and resource
holders. The proposal also ensures that those parties who
currently rely on the accuracy of this registration information
can continue to rely on the currency and accuracy of this
information in good faith.
- Provide a stronger incentive for unused IPv4 address space to
return to active use, helping to satisfy residual demand for IPv4
address space across the IPv6 transition.
- Concerns have been raised about a market-based system emerging
as the only means to obtain IPv4 address space in future, and
the potential for certain forms of market failures, including
the possibility of hoarding, speculation and price manipulation.
A number of factors mitigate these risks. As the transition to
IPv6 gathers pace, a market-based value of IPv4 addresses would
fall in line with the decreasing value proposition of IPv4-based
services in an increasing IPv6 network. An additional constraint
would apply if this policy were to be adopted while IPv4
addresses are still available from APNIC, as APNIC's established
IPv4 address allocation process would continue to provide an
alternative source of supply of IPv4 addresses to the industry.
6. Effect on APNIC members
APNIC members will have the ability to register the transfer of IPv4
address resources between APNIC account holders.
7. Effect on NIRs
This policy does not encompass IPv4 address holdings administered by
NIRs, nor the transfer of resources where the source or recipient are
(end of document)