2005-1 Previous Version

View the current policy proposal text.

The following version was archived on April 14, 2006.

Policy Proposal 2005-1: Provider-independent IPv6 Assignments for End Sites

Author: Owen Delong, Kevin Loch

Proposal Version: 3 (2006-02-09)

Proposal type: modify

Policy term: permanent

Policy statement:

Add new subsection in section 6.5 of the NRPM:

6.5.8. Direct assignments to end sites To qualify for a direct assignment, an organization must:

a) not be an IPv6 LIR; and
b) Qualify for an IPv4 assignment or allocation from ARIN under the IPv4 policy currently in effect. Direct assignment size to end sites

Organizations that meet the direct end site assignment criteria are eligible to receive a direct assignment. The minimum size of the assignment is /48. Organizations requesting a larger assignment must provide documentation justifying the need for additional subnets. Subsequent Assignment Size

Additional assignments may be made when the need for additional subnets is justified. When possible assignments will be made from an adjacent address block.


In IPv4 policy there are three main types of organizations that addresses are delegated to.

o ISP's receive allocations directly from ARIN or from other ISP's
o End Users receive assignments from ISP's
o Large and/or multihomed End Users receive assignments directly from ARIN.

The third category is currently missing from IPv6 policy and this is believed to be severely hindering deployment by those organizations. In IPv6 policy-speak:

o LIR's receive allocations directly from ARIN
o End Sites receive assignments from LIR's

This policy proposes:

o Large and/or multihomed End Sites receive assignments directly from ARIN.

This policy applies to organizations with networks that are large and/or multihomed. Like their IPv4 counterparts they do not make assignments to external organizations. They instead assign space internally to their own facilities. Similarly to IPv4 These internal assignments are not submitted to ARIN via swip/rwhois.

For transition purposes an organization that qualifies for IPv4 space today is considered elligible, regardless of whether they were considered an ISP or End User under IPv4 policy. It is expected that the IPv6 only (non transition) requirements will be developed as experience is gained.

It is reommended that these assignments be made from a separate address block set aside for this purpose and that at least a /44 be reserved around each assignment for possible expansion. One bit should be reserved around assignments /44 and larger.

Timetable for implementation: immediately

The following version was archived on February 10, 2006.

Policy Proposal 2005-1: Provider Independent IPv6 Assignments for End-sites

Policy statement

Add new subsection to the NRPM:

6.5.8. Direct assignments to end sites To qualify for a direct end site assignment, an organization must:
  1. not be an LIR;
  2. be an end site;
  3. be currently multihomed using IPv6 to two or more separate LIR's using at least one /48 assigned to them by each LIR.
  4. be able to assign IPv6 addresses to at least 100,000 unique devices within 1 year and advertise that connectivity through it's single aggregated address assignment. Direct assignment size to end sites

Organizations that meet the direct end site assignment criteria are eligible to receive a direct assignment of /44 Subsequent direct assignments to end sites

Only one direct assignment may be made to an end site organization under Section 6.5.8

Policy Rationale

The original proposal 2005-1 would have provided for a Provider Independent IPv6 allocation to anyone who could qualify for an Autonomous System number. While this proposal failed to reach consensus at the ARIN XV meeting in Orlando in April 2005, the Advisory Council agreed there was sufficient interest in the proposal to see if it could be recrafted into a proposal capable of reaching consensus.

The main objections to the original 2005-1 were a concern over a run on AS numbers, which are currently the most constrained Internet Resource until 4-byte ASN's are a reality, and major concerns over the possibility of a large increase in the size of the IPv6 default-free routing table. There were assertions that it was too early for making multi-homing alone a rationale for a direct assignment of IPv6 address space, unless it was only for a limited time, until the viability of the shim6 effort in IETF could be determined. While the current number of sites who multi-home could easily be accomodated at this time, the effect of an IPv6 policy has to be looked at over the multiple 10s of years that IPv6 will need to be functional. Very few people believed that limited time assignments were viable (i.e. could actually be reclaimed) and asserted that it would create a similar situation to IPv4, where early adopters have an unfair advantage. In support of the proposal, a number of commercial companies, who were attending the co-located NAv6TF meeting, expressed their unwillingness to invest resources in deploying IPv6 with Provider Assigned address space, as they were unwilling to be "locked in" to a provider or else have to renumber their entire enterprise. When the sense of the room was taken, the attendees were about evenly split and so there was clearly not a consensus.

Discussions with those who opposed the advancement of 2005-1 indicated they were very concerned about almost unlimited access to Provider Independent IPv6 address assignments. They indicated that it was too early in the protocol's lifetime to allow unrestricted routing table growth and expressed the hope that shim6 might still be successful.

There is a real belief that IPv4-like multi-homing will doom the IPv6 routing table to grow beyond a workable size and some other solution must be found! Many of them expressed an understanding of the large organization renumbering problem and indicated that they would support a policy that provided for PI address assignments to a small number of large organizations for whom the cost of renumbering would be a significant expense.

So this new version of proposal 2005-1 has been reworked to apply to a much more limited number of organizations and should not lead to unrestricted growth of the IPv6 routing table.

Timetable for implementation: immediate

The following version was archived on September 23, 2005.

Policy Proposal 2005-1: Provider Independent IPv6 Assignments for End-sites

Policy Statement:

To be added to NRPM Section 6, IPv6, a new sub-section:

6.11 Assignments to End-sites with Autonomous System Numbers

Any end-site which meets the current criteria for assignment of an autonomous system number (ASN) shall also qualify for one IPv6 prefix assignment of the minimum size justified under the ARIN guidelines for assignment by an LIR. If the organization grows to require more space, it will not be entitled to an additional block, but rather may obtain a new, replacement block of sufficient size to meet its needs in exchange for making the commitment to return its existing block within 24 months, so that it may be reassigned.


There is a legitimate and growing need for provider independent addressing for end-site organizations. While there were and are technical reasons for limiting this in the IPv4 world, they need to be solved in the IPv6 world, or, we will not see widespread adoption of IPv6.

This policy does not promote extreme growth in the routing table, as it would provide support for fewer than 70,000 IPv6 prefixes if every organization that currently has an ASN were to get an assignment, grow, and, be in the 24 month renumbering period. Realistically, it is unreasonable to think that this policy would contribute even 10,000 routes to the IPv6 table in the near term future.

This policy provides for reasonable IPv6 provider independent assignments without creating a land-grab, explosive routing table growth, or a IPv6 swamp.

All such assignments under this policy shall be subject to the same renewal criteria as IPv4 end-user assignments with a fee structure to be set by ARIN in the usual and customary way.

Concerns were expressed about being able to reclaim this space and about a land rush. Should an IPv6 land rush occur under this policy (an ASN land rush would be required first), the ARIN BOT has emergency authority to suspend this or any other policy in the interests of the internet with appropriate review at the next public policy meeting. As to reclamation, it is quite clear in the Registration Services Agreement:

4. Conditions of service ...

(d) Changes to Services. Applicant acknowledges and agrees that ARIN fulfills a critical role in the continued evolution of the Internet and, accordingly, ARIN may, in its sole and absolute discretion, change, modify, suspend, or make improvements to any aspect of the Services, temporarily or permanently, at any time without specific notice to Applicant, and ARIN will not be liable for doing so. ARIN will have the right from time to time to change the amount of the fees or institute new fees relating to the Services, as set forth in Section 6, but such changes to fees will only take effect upon the renewal of the Services.

Also, according to subsequent sections of the agreement, ARIN may simply choose not to renew the agreement with 30 days notice to the applicant.

Either of these actions makes reclamation quite possible.