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Understanding the IPv4 Transfer Market

ARIN policy now allows organizations that need IPv4 addresses to acquire them from organizations with unused IPv4 addresses. ARIN still encourages organizations with surplus IPv4 address space to return that to ARIN for use by the broader community. However, some organizations may wish to transfer the right to use surplus IPv4 address space to an organization in need that is willing to compensate for cost associated with renumbering out of that surplus IPv4 address space. While the financial details of these transfers are outside ARIN’s purview, both specified transfer parties must meet certain requirement for the specified transfer to be recognized under current ARIN policy. Organizations interested in participating in a specified transfer of this sort can use this guide to learn more about the specified transfer process and how the Specified Transfer Listing Service (STLS) can pre-qualify them for a specified transfer.

Need IPv4 Addresses?

Read below to learn how to:

  • Determine whether ARIN has IPv4 address space available and request it directly
  • Obtain IPv4 addresses through ARIN’s IPv4 Waiting List if it is not immediately available directly from ARIN
  • Pre-qualify to obtain unused IPv4 address space from another organization via a specified transfer
  • Verify whether an organization is pre-qualified to release IPv4 address space prior to agreeing to a specified transfer

Option 1: Get IPv4 Addresses directly from ARIN

Check ARIN’s IPv4 Daily Status Report and ARIN’s current IPv4 request guidelines to determine whether ARIN has enough free IPv4 address space to provide the block size you qualify for. Requesting IPv4 address space directly from ARIN is generally the fastest and easiest way to obtain them, as it does not require finding another organization with unused IPv4 address space who is willing to release them to you (When you get IPv4 address space direct from ARIN, you pay only the fees on ARIN’s standard fee schedule.).

Option 2: ARIN’s IPv4 Waiting List

If you submit an IPv4 request to ARIN, and qualify for a certain block size, but ARIN cannot fill it because ARIN does not have a block of that size available, you will be offered the opportunity to specify the smallest block you will accept to fill your three-month need. If a block of that size or larger is available, ARIN will fill your request with the largest block size available. As soon as the block is issued, you will be unable to obtain any additional IPv4 addresses directly from ARIN or via a specified recipient transfer for three months.

If ARIN does not have a block large enough to fill your specified minimum acceptable block size, you may opt to be added to ARIN’s IPv4 Waiting List. When IPv4 addresses become available (usually when they are returned to ARIN or revoked because an organization did not pay its annual renewal fees), they may be used to fill requests on the waiting list (oldest first). When you receive IP addresses via the waiting list, you will be removed from the waiting list immediately and become unable to request additional IPv4 addresses directly from ARIN or via a specified recipient transfer for three months.

ARIN is currently able to fulfill all qualifying IPv4 requests, and has not exercised this option to date.

Option 3: Obtaining IPv4 Addresses via the transfer market

Organizations have the option to obtain IPv4 addresses from another organization with unused IPv4 addresses that they are willing to release.

The easiest way for an organization to verify whether it meets the applicable requirements to obtain IPv4 addresses via a specified transfer is by requesting access to ARIN’s STLS as a STLS Seeker. ARIN will verify whether your organization meets the requirements for the requested block size under the applicable policies. If so, ARIN will approve your organization’s request, which pre-qualifies your organization to receive a block of the approved size from a network willing to transfer their unused IPv4 addresses.

STLS Seekers may then:

  • Arrange a specified transfer through STLS: STLS registrants have access to contact information for all organizations that have been pre-qualified by ARIN to release their unused IPv4 address space. Specified transfers arranged between STLS participants may be completed quickly through ARIN’s specified transfer process since both parties are pre-qualified.
  • Verify a specified transfer arranged outside STLS is pre-approved: STLS Seekers that intend to arrange a transaction outside STLS can request that the organization releasing their unused IPv4 addresses obtain STLS Lister access from ARIN. This allows the STLS Seeker to verify the seller is pre-qualified to release the unused IPv4 addresses, thus ensuring the resulting transaction can be quickly recognized through ARIN’s transfer request process.

Note that under current ARIN policy, ISPs that have been subscriber members for a year or more are eligible to request up to a twenty-four-month supply via a transfer of unused addresses. ISPs requesting IP addresses directly from ARIN may request only a three-month supply.

Note: While Autonomous System Numbers (ASNs) can also be transferred under the 8.3 Specified Transfer policy, they are not eligible for listing in the Specified Transfer Listing Service.

Releasing Unused IPv4 Addresses?

Read below to learn how to:

  • Pre-qualify to transfer your unused IPv4 address space
  • Verify whether an organization seeking to acquire your unused IPv4 address space is eligible to receive it prior to agreeing to a specified transfer

Organizations that want to transfer their unused IPv4 addresses need to verify they are documented by ARIN as the authorized holder of the resources.
The easiest way for an organization to verify it’s the authorized holder of IPv4 addresses is via ARIN’s STLS. An organization that has unused IPv4 addresses and that would like to release some or all of those addresses to another organization can request STLS Lister access. ARIN will verify the organization is the authorized holder of the IPv4 addresses, and if so, will approve the organization’s STLS Lister request. STLS Lister access means the organization is pre-qualified to arrange a transaction that releases IPv4 addresses to another organization.

STLS Listers can then:

  • Arrange a specified transfer through STLS: STLS Listers have access to contact information for all organizations that have been pre-qualified to receive IPv4 addresses by ARIN. Transactions arranged between STLS participants can be quickly completed through ARIN’s specified transfer process since both parties are pre-qualified.
  • Verify a specified transfer arranged outside STLS is pre-qualified: STLS Listers intending to arrange a specified transfer outside STLS may request that a potential recipient obtain STLS Seeker access from ARIN. This allows the STLS Lister to verify whether each potential bidder is pre-qualified to receive their unused IPv4 address space, thus ensuring the resulting specified transfer can be quickly recognized through ARIN’s transfer request process.

Brokering IPv4 Transactions?

Learn how to:

  • Help potential customers pre-qualifiy to release or acquire IPv4 address space through ARIN’s STLS
  • Verify whether a specified transfer will be recognized by ARIN prior to completion
  • Assist your customers in having their specified transfer recognized by ARIN

STLS Facilitator access allows IPv4 brokers to confirm that parties seeking to transfer or receive IPv4 address space have been pre-qualified by ARIN for a specified transfer. IPv4 brokers can ask their clients to register as an STLS Lister or STLS Seeker, and then, using their STLS Facilitator access, view registered STLS Listers and STLS Seekers to verify that their clients have been pre-approved to transfer or receive addresses.

Brokered transactions that have been pre-qualified via STLS for all parties involved can be quickly recognized by ARIN via the transfer request process, ensuring a smooth and worry-free process for IPv4 brokers and their customers. Getting pre-approval via the STLS is a simple way to make sure that both parties are eligible to register the IPv4 transfer.

Transfers between Regions

Inter-RIR transfers may be completed between ARIN and another RIR as long as that RIR has a documented, reciprocal inter-RIR transfer policy that allow transfers to and from its region; has an inter‐RIR transfer policy that is compatible with, but not necessarily identical to ARIN's; and has general number resource policies that are needs‐based.  Currently, APNIC is the only RIR with a reciprocal, compatible inter-RIR transfer policy.

For transfers from a resource holder in the ARIN region, the authorized registrant of the ARIN resources must complete the Inter-RIR Transfer form and submit it to ARIN. In the event that the current registrant of the resources no longer exists,ARIN will require that the requesting organization complete a Merger and Acquisition Transfer (NRPM 8.2) before proceeding with the Inter-RIR transfer request. This is done in accordance with policy and provides a clear audit trail showing the chain of registration. ARIN also requires an officer of the requesting company to acknowledge that they are authorized to release the resources for transfer.