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Global Policy Proposal for Post Exhaustion IPv4 Allocation Mechanisms by IANA - Background Report | (Third proposal for handling recovered IPv4 address space)

26 April 2011

Updated 14 March 2012
28 November 2011
22 July 2011

Purpose of this document

This document provides a background report on the progress of an active Global Policy proposal, "Global Policy Proposal for Post Exhaustion IPv4 Allocation Mechanisms by IANA". It is intended as a background briefing for the ICANN Board and the wider community.


Global Internet Number Resource Policies are defined by the ASO MOU - between ICANN and the NRO - as "Internet number resource policies that have the agreement of all RIRs according to their policy development processes and ICANN, and require specific actions or outcomes on the part of IANA or any other external ICANN-related body in order to be implemented". Attachment A of this MOU describes the Development Process of Global Internet Number Resource Policies, including the adoption by every RIR of a global policy to be forwarded to the ICANN Board by the ASO1, as well as its ratification by the ICANN Board. In this context, the ICANN Board adopted its own Procedures for the Review of Internet Number Resource Policies Forwarded by the ASO for Ratification.

Among other features, these Procedures state that the Board will decide, as and when appropriate, that ICANN staff should follow the development of a particular global policy, undertaking an "early awareness" tracking of proposals in the addressing community. To this end, staff should issue background reports periodically, forwarded to the Board, to all ICANN Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees and posted at the ICANN web site.

At its meeting on 21 April 2011, the Board resolved to request tracking of the development of a "Global Policy for post exhaustion IPv4 allocation mechanisms by the IANA", under discussion in the addressing community. The status overview presented below is compiled in response to this request and will be further updated as developments proceed, for information to ICANN entities and the wider community. This is the third background report on this proposal.

Status Overview

The purpose of the proposal is to enable ICANN, as the IANA Functions Operator, to allocate IPv4 blocks returned by the RIRs. ICANN would place IPv4 blocks returned by the RIRs in a Recovered IPv4 Pool. This Pool would be declared active when one RIR has less than half its last /8 left, approximately 8m IPv4 addresses.The  IANA Functions Operator would then allocate an "IPv4 allocation unit" (minimum size /24) to each RIR, if the Pool size so permits. If the space available in the Pool is too limited, allocation would be deferred in 6 month intervals until space is available.

Following list discussions over slightly different drafts early in 2011, the current version of this global policy proposal was first formally introduced in the APNIC region on 20 February 2011 and has since been introduced and advanced in all the other RIRs. The proposal has now been adopted in APNIC, ARIN, LACNIC RIPE and AfriNIC.

Process history

On 3 February 2011, the ASO AC2 recognized the proposal as fulfilling the formal requirements as a candidate for a Global Policy.

The proposal has been adopted in all RIR regions, i.e. AfriNIC, APNIC, ARIN, LACNIC and RIPE, and is handled by the NRO EC3 and the ASO AC according to their procedures before being submitted to the ICANN Board for ratification.

As a background to this policy proposal, it should be noted that a previous proposal for handling recovered IPv4 address space, "Global Policy Proposal for the Allocation of IPv4 Blocks to Regional Internet Registries" was introduced in 2009 but abandoned by the NRO EC in view of version differences across the RIRs. For more information on that proposal, see the corresponding background report. That proposal is denoted as the first proposal in the table below.

Also, a second proposal on this theme "Global Policy Proposal for the Allocation of IPv4 by IANA Post Exhaustion" was introduced in 2010. This proposal was rapidly adopted in ARIN, but abandoned in APNIC and withdrawn in RIPE, making it unlikely that the proposal would advance to become a global policy. For more information on that proposal, see the corresponding background report. That proposal is denoted as the second proposal in the table below.

The proposal that is the object of the current background report - for direct access to the proposal text click here [TXT, 12 KB] - is denoted as the third proposal in the table below, where the significant differences between the proposals are summarized.

Proposal/features Third proposal Second proposal First proposal

RIR return to IANA

Not mentioned


Mandatory vs. voluntary

RIR Eligibility

Simultaneous for all RIRs

Per RIR, when it has less than a /8 in stock

Simultaneous for all RIRs

ASO reference




An overview of these proposals is also provided on the ASO website, see http://aso.icann.org/global-policy-proposals/

The table below outlines the steps taken within each RIR for the current proposal. Hyperlinks are included for easy access.

Status of Global Policy Proposal for Post Exhaustion IPv4 Allocation Mechanisms by IANA (GPP-IPv4-2011)


Proposal Introduced

7 Feb 2011
list message
28 April 2011
list message

25 Jan 2011
list message prop-097
20 Feb 2011
version 2

8 Mar 2011
list message prop 137

18 Mar 2011
list message prop 2011-05

21 Mar 2011  
list message prop 2011-01

Discussion list

Resource Policy Disc. List


Public Policy Mailing List

Politicas – Policy Mailing List

Address Policy WG

Public Forum

AfriNIC 14 4 - 10 June 2011

APNIC 31 21 - 25 Feb 2011

LACNIC XV 15 - 20 May 2011

- presentation

RIPE 62 2 - 6 May 2011

Final Call for Comments

29 July – 16 Aug 2011

1 Mar - 26 Apr 2011

19 Oct -2 Nov 2011

27 May - 11 July 2011

6 Sept – 4 Oct 2011

Next Public

Forum (N/A)

(AfriNIC-15 19 - 25 Nov 2011)

(APNIC 32 29 Aug - 2 Sept 2011 )

(ARIN XXVIII 12 – 14 Oct 2011)

(LACNIC XVI 4 - 7 Oct 2011)

(RIPE 63 31 Oct - 4 Nov 2011)


Ratified by the AfriNIC Board 21 Nov 2011

Endorsed by APNIC EC 6 May 2011

Adopted by the ARIN Board 16 Dec 2011

Ratified by the LACNIC Board 19 July 2011

Accepted by RIPE Community 20 Oct 2011

Link to document



Proposal 137 Draft Policy ARIN-2011-9

LAC-2011-05 (EN)

LAC-2011-05 (ES)

LAC-2011-05 (PT)

Proposal 2011 - 01


Link to Policy Development Process

Policy Development Process

Policy Development Process

Policy Development Process

Policy Development Process

Policy Development Process







1 The ASO MoU states that the NRO shall fulfill the role, responsibilities and functions of the ASO (Address Supporting Organization).

2 The ASO AC (Address Council) consists of elected and appointed representatives from each RIR's policy making community.

3 The NRO EC (Executive Council) consists of the CEOs of the five RIRs.