Recommended Draft Policy ARIN-2021-2

Special Use IPv4 Space Out of Scope for Purposes of Determining Waitlist Eligibility

Status: Implemented
Shepherds: Kerrie Richards, Matthew Wilder

AC Assessment of Conformance with the Principles of Internet Number Resource Policy:

This Recommended Draft Policy is technically sound and is fair and impartial number policy. The intent of the policy is to revise section 4.1.8 of the NRPM to explicitly exclude space issued under 4.4 and 4.10frombeing considered when staff are weighing the total holdings of an org from the v4 wait list.

Current Text (23 March 2021)

Problem Statement:

Eligibility for number resources is based on demonstrated need. In NRPM Section 4, IPv4 demonstrated need is furcated into three categories: ordinary use addresses for ISPs and end users (sections 4.2 and 4.3), special use addresses for critical infrastructure (section 4.4). and special use addresses for facilitation of IPv6 deployment (section 4.10).

Documentation of need for each category of addresses has always been evaluated without respect for address holdings and utilization of other address categories. For instance a TLD operator could get more section 4.4 space for new TLD customers by showing an MOU with ICANN without having to speak to efficient use of its back office section 4.3 space. Likewise, an organization that operated multiple internet exchanges each with a comparatively small number of participants could show efficient use of its section 4.3 back office space and get more under the standard demonstrated need policy despite the fact that its internet exchanges were nowhere near full, thus driving their host density ratio sufficiently low across all their holdings that if they were taken in aggregate they could not possibly meet the requirements to justify more space. Furthermore, an organization that needed address space for IPv6 transition under section 4.10 had those requirements evaluated irrespective of its current holdings and/or efficient utilization.

The current wording of section 4.1.8 (ARIN Waitlist) begins “ARIN will only issue future IPv4 assignments/allocations (excluding 4.4 and 4.10 space) from the ARIN Waitlist.”, a nod to the fact that there is space held in reserve for this type of special use. However a couple of sentences later, “Organizations which hold more than a /20 equivalent of IPv4 space in aggregate are not eligible to apply.” suggests that special use space might count against an organization wishing to apply for waitlist space despite the fact that based on the terms of its issuance 4.4 and 4.10 space is not to be used for general purposes. Either of the types of organizations described above could easily fall into the corner case of having enough special use space to preclude getting ordinary use space via the waitlist.

In the Staff and Legal Assessment (1 May 2019) for ARIN-2019-20, Staff noted:

“… ARIN staff would immediately perform an audit of the current waitlist and remove and inform any organization that holds more than a /20 in IPv4 space excluding 4.4 and 4.10…” indicating a clear intent to treat these blocks specially. Failure to either incorporate this policy nuance into the NRPM or explicitly contradict it has resulted in confusion; a recent Policy Experience Report cited three occurrences in as many weeks.

Policy statement:

Replace the sentence “Organizations which hold more than a /20 equivalent of IPv4 space in aggregate are not eligible to apply.” in section 4.1.8 with “Organizations which hold more than a /20 equivalent of IPv4 space in aggregate (exclusive of special use space received under section 4.4 or 4.10) are not eligible to apply.”

Timetable for implementation: Immediate

Staff Understanding

This Draft Policy revises Section 4.1.8. to explicitly exclude space issued under Sections 4.4 and 4.10 from consideration when weighing the total aggregate holdings of an organization applying for space from ARIN’s IPv4 waitlist.

The suggested text (exclusive of special use space received under section 4.4 or 4.10) is clear and understandable.

Implementable as Written?: Yes

Impact on ARIN Registry Operations and Services:


Legal Review:

No material legal issue.

Implementation Timeframe Estimate: Three months

Implementation Requirements:

  • Staff training
  • Updates to public documentation
  • Updates to internal procedures and guidelines

Proposal/Draft Policy Text Assessed: 23 March 2021 Version

History and Earlier Versions

Action Date
Proposal 16 February 2021
Draft Policy 23 March 2021
Recommended Draft Policy 21 September 2021
Last Call 21 December 2021
Adopted 25 January 2022