Draft Policy 2009-4: IPv4 Recovery Fund [Archived]


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Status: Abandoned

Tracking Information

Discussion Tracking

Mailing List:

Formal introduction on PPML on 23 March 2009

Origin: Policy Proposal 80: IPv4 Recovery Fund

Draft Policy - 23 March 2009 (with staff assessment)

Policy Revision - 9 April 2009

AC Notice to Abandon - 4 May 2009

Public Policy Mailing List

ARIN Public Policy Meeting:

Bridgetown, Barbados

ARIN Advisory Council:

AC Shepherds:
Cathy Aronson and Bill Darte

18 December 2009
24 January 2009

19 February 2009

19 March 2009

ARIN Board of Trustees:


Previous version(s)


2009 -4: IPv4 Recovery Fund

Date: 9 April 2009

Proposal type: New

Policy term: Permanent

Policy statement:

(Create new section in section 4, represented by “4.X”.)

4.X IPv4 Recovery Fund

4.X.1 Implementation Timing

  ARIN shall begin offering financial incentives for the return   
  of IPv4 number resources as specified in section 4.X when   
  IANA announces that the last full /8's in the IANA free pool   
  have been allocated to RIR(s).

4.X.2 Recovery of IPv4 Resources

   Organizations should voluntarily return unused and/or unneeded   
   number resources to ARIN based on ARIN's current utilization   
   guidelines. ARIN will provide instructions on how to   
   voluntarily return number resources on the ARIN web site.   

   After the conditions in section 4.x.1 are met, ARIN will   
   offer financial incentives for the return of IPv4 number   
   resources to ARIN and relinquishment of any future claims   
   to those resources. ARIN will use the bids from section   
   4.X.3 to determine the value of returned resources.   

4.X.3 Allocation of Recovered IPv4 Resources

   After a requester has been approved for IPv4 number resources   
   via any policy in section 4 or section 11 of the NRPM, ARIN   
   will ask the requester to specify a binding bid of how much   
   they are willing to pay for reclamation of number resources   
   to satisfy their request. The requester may make a higher   
   bid at any time, which is treated as a brand new bid replacing   
   their old bid.   

    Requesters may choose to bid $0, in which case they would   
   only be eligible for number resources that were voluntarily   
   returned to ARIN.   

    IPv4 number resources recovered by ARIN under section 4.X.2   
   will be offered to those who have been waiting the longest   
   with bids high enough to cover ARIN's cost to recover the   
   resource. If ARIN offers IPv4 number resources at or below   
   the requesters bid the requester will be required to take   
   the space at the offered price.   

4.X.4 Management of Recovered IPv4 Resources

   ARIN may not fill a request with multiple smaller blocks.   
   ARIN must offer recovered number resources in the largest   
   possible contiguous blocks. Recovered IPv4 number resources   
   should be broken into smaller blocks only if there are no   
   bidders for the larger sized blocks, and ARIN believes there   
   are unlikely to be bidders for the larger sized block in the   
   next 30 days. When sub-diving the block ARIN shall divide it   
   into as few pieces as possible to satisfy existing bids.   

   ARIN should take all practical steps to aggregate returned   
   address blocks.   

4.X.5 Transparency

    ARIN must post statistics updated as frequently as practical   
   but not less than monthly on the ARIN web site regarding all   
   activity taking place under section 4.X. ARIN must report   
   the following items at a minimum, and is encouraged to report   
   as much additional data as is practical and useful:   

     - The amount of number resources recovered under 4.X.3.   
     - The amount of number resources allocated under 4.X.4.   
     - The min, max, median, and average prices for number resources   
       recovered under 4.x.3.   
     - The min, max, median, and average prices for number resources   
       allocated under 4.x.4.   
     - The min, max, median, and average prices for all bids received   
       under 4.x.4, as well as the number of outstanding bids not   
       yet satisfied.   
     - How many address blocks were de-aggregated, and the resulting number   
       of blocks.   
     - How many address blocks were aggregated, and the resulting number   
       of blocks.   

4.X.6 Cost Recovery

   ARIN shall use the payments made in 4.X.4 to pay for any   
   work done under section 4.X as well as for any payments made   
   in section 4.X.3. ARIN must base payment offers made under   
   4.X.3 on the binding bids made in section 4.X.4.   

    The Board may set aside a portion of ARIN's general funds   
   to provide financial liquidity to the activities taking place   
   under section 4.X, provided there is a clear mechanism and   
   time frame to return those funds to the general fund.   


Many have recognized that in order for unused or poorly used IPv4 resources to be returned to the free pool that financial compensation will be required. This is particularly the case in poorly used assets where the current holder may have to expend time and money to renumber in order to free the blocks.

This proposal sets up a fund administered by ARIN to encourage the return of space. Effectively ARIN will offer financial incentives to return unused or poorly used IPv4 number resources and place them back into the IPv4 free pool.

The intention is for this activity to be revenue neutral to ARIN. To achieve that goal those requesting IPv4 number resources will be requested to bid on a one-time payment to the recovery fund to cover the cost of the resources they have received.

The proposal is intentionally vague on the exact implementation details to staff because:

  • Transactions with those returning space and obtaining space may
    occur in any order.
  • The bidding process may need to evolve over time, and may not
    be as simple as highest bidder wins. It may include aspects such
    as a dutch auction style format (all winners pay the lowest winning
    price), or may include other factors such as which size blocks
    ARIN has free in an effort to limit de-aggregation.
  • ARIN will have to develop contracts and procedures around this
    activity that are better suited for staff and legal than the policy process.

Compared to other “transfer proposals”, this proposal has the following benefits:

  • Maintains that IP addresses are not property.
  • Maintains the concept that unused addresses should be returned to
    the free pool.
  • Maintains need based addressing.
  • Removes the need for those with excess resources to find those
    without resources. There is no need for any sort of listing
    service, eBay, etc.
  • All transactions are two party transactions with ARIN as one of
    the parties. The potential for multi-party legal disputes is
  • ARIN can absorb spikes in supply or demand, creating more level
    prices over time.
  • ARIN can provide transparency across all transactions in this
  • Reduces confusion to new entrants over where they should go to
    receive address space.

Change Log:

  • Changed “monetary” to “financial” to allow for the possibility
    of ARIN offering things other than direct payment (like fee
    credits). Credit: Robert Bonomi.

  • Updated numbering so there were not two 4.10.2’s. Also changed
    to using a place holder for section. Credit: Robert Bonomi

  • Changed the cost recovery language to be more clear and provide
    some additional flexibility.

  • Clarified 4.10.2 about future claims. Credit: Ted Mittelstaedt

  • Split 10.X.3 into 10.X.3 and 10.X.3 with better titles.

  • Left the exact algorithm to staff. Removed examples as a result.

Timetable for implementation: Staff should begin developing procedures and updated templates immediately. Policy would not go into effect until the criteria listed occurs.


Here in the Vault, information is published in its final form and then not changed or updated. As a result, some content, specifically links to other pages and other references, may be out-of-date or no longer available.