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Updated: 4 April 2011
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 ASO, 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 on the ICANN web site.
At its meeting on 25 January 2011, the Board resolved to request tracking of the development of a Global Policy Proposal for the Allocation of IPv4 by the IANA Post Exhaustion, 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 second issue of the tracking of this policy.
The purpose of the proposal is to enable IANA to allocate returned IPv4 blocks to RIRs after the exhaustion of the IANA free pool of IPv4 /8 address blocks. IANA would serve as repository for IPv4 blocks returned by the RIRs and place them in a separate Reclamation Pool. Once this Reclamation Pool is declared active, IANA would allocate blocks of any size to the RIRs according to need. An RIR would qualify for allocation once its own supply of /8 blocks is exhausted.
Following list discussions over slightly different draft versions in the spring of 2010, this version of the global policy proposal draft was first formally introduced in the ARIN region on 20 July 2010 and has since been introduced in all the other RIRs. The proposal was adopted in ARIN and is currently in the discussion phase in LACNIC and AfriNIC. However, it was recently abandoned in APNIC and withdrawn in RIPE.
As the proposal did not reach consensus in all five regions it is no longer eligible to become a global policy, unless any negative verdict is reconsidered.
The reason for APNIC abandoning the proposal was a strong preference in the APNIC community for a new third proposal recently introduced in that region regarding allocation of recovered IPv4 address space, with the following title: "Global Policy for Post Exhaustion IPv4 Allocation Mechanisms by IANA".
On 22 June 2010, the ASO AC recognized the proposal as fulfilling the formal requirements as a candidate for a Global Policy.
The ASO MoU requires that, once a proposal has been adopted in all RIRs, i.e. ARIN, AfriNIC, LACNIC, RIPE and APNIC, the proposal will be handled by the NRO EC and the ASO AC according to their procedures before being submitted to the ICANN Board for ratification. As adoption of the proposal in all RIRs appears extremely unlikely, the proposal is equally unlikely to become a global policy.
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.
The table below outlines the steps taken within each RIR for the current version of the "Global Policy Proposal for the Allocation of IPv4 by IANA Post Exhaustion". Hyperlinks are included for easy access.