ICANN Announcements

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ICANN Allocates IPv6 Address Blocks to the Five Regional Internet Registries

12 October 2006

On Tuesday October 3, ICANN through its Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) allocated large blocks of IPv6 address spaces to each of the five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) to promote the efficient assignment of those address spaces to the RIRs' customers.

"These allocations put in place a sweeping new system for allocating IPv6 addresses in keeping with the global policy development process conducted by the registries' communities and ratified by the ICANN Board of Directors on September 7 this year" said Dr Paul Twomey, President and CEO of ICANN.

The address communities within the regional registries through a bottom-up policy development process, coordinated by the NRO, built consensus around this global policy over a period of over three years.

"A key objective is to prepare for extraordinary growth in the Internet over the next few decades while maintaining orderly operation of the routing system" Dr Twomey said.

IPv6 is the next generation Internet Protocol (IP) addressing scheme, designed to augment and ultimately replace IPv4.

In accordance with the new global IPv6 allocation policy, each RIR's allotment of address space is a /12, which is 0.024 percent (1/4096) of the total address space available.

To give some sense of scale, these allocations are sufficient to provide each person on the planet with one thousand individual networks. The size of these blocks are allocated to each Regional Registry are exactly the same regardless of their level of development.

"We don't anticipate that individuals will have large numbers of private networks, but the rise in mobile devices, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags, and embedded communications is driving exponential growth in the use of the Internet and requires the allocation of many more addresses than have been used so far" Dr Twomey said.

"In short, we're creating room for innovation in the global Internet" he added.

This allocation, and the policy supporting it, address concerns about the method for future allocations of Internet address space and ensures projected demand can be met for many years to come.

To read more about the Proposed Global Policy for Allocation of IPv6 Address Space, ratified by ICANN go to http://www.icann.org/policies/proposed-ipv6-policy-14jul06.htm

Media Contacts:


Andrew Robertson, Edelman (London)

Ph: +44 7921 588 770

E: andrew.robertson@edelman.com

Tanzanica King, ICANN (USA)

Ph: +1 310 301 5804

E: tanzanica.king@icann.org

About ICANN:

ICANN is a non-profit organisation responsible for coordinating the Internet's systems of unique identifiers, including the systems of domain names and numeric addresses that are used to reach computers on the Internet. ICANN's mission is to ensure the stable and secure operation of these unique identifier systems, which are vital to the Internet' operation. In addition, ICANN coordinates policy development related to these technical functions through its effective bottom-up consensus model.