Policy Proposal Name: RIR Principles

Proposal Originator: Jason Schiller

Date: 24 April 2013

Problem Statement:

The original text in RFC 2050 both "describes the registry system for the distribution of globally unique Internet address space and registry operations" and provides "rules and guidelines [principles] governing the distribution of this address space."

The currently proposed update (RFC2050bis) "provides information about the current Internet Numbers Registry System used in the distribution of globally unique Internet Protocol (IP) address space and autonomous system (AS) numbers" and "provides information about the processes for further evolution of the Internet Numbers Registry System."

This means that the guiding principles of stewardship are not currently being carried forward into the new document. The goals of Conservation (efficient utilization based on need), Routability (hierarchical aggregation), and Registration (uniqueness) are as important, if not more so, now that the transition to IPv6 is upon us. This can be rectified by documenting these principles in RIR policy.

Policy Statement:

Section 0: Principles and Goals of the Internet Registry System

0.1. Efficient utilization based on need (Conservation)

Policies for managing Internet number resources must support fair distribution of globally unique Internet address space according to the operational needs of the end-users and Internet Service Providers operating networks using this address space. The registry should prevent stockpiling in order to maximize the conservation and efficient utilization of the Internet address space.

0.1.1. Documented Justified Need (Needs Based)

Assignment of Internet number resources is based on documented operational need. Utilization rate of address space will be a key factor in number resource assignment. To this end, registrants should have documented justified need available for each assignment. Organizations will be assigned resources based on immediate utilization plus expected utilization.

In order to promote increased usage of Internet number resources, resource holders will be required to provide an accounting of resources currently held demonstrating efficient utilization. Internet number resources are valid as long as the criteria continues to be met. The transfer of Internet number resources from one party to another must be approved by the regional registries. The party trying to obtain the resources must meet the same criteria as if they were requesting resources directly from the IR.

All Internet number resource requests are subject to audit and verification by any means deemed appropriate by the regional registry.

0.2. Hierarchical aggregation (Routability)

Policies for managing Internet number resources must support distribution of globally unique Internet addresses in a hierarchical manner, permitting the routing scalability of the addresses. This scalability is necessary to ensure proper operation of Internet routing, although it must be stressed that routability is in no way guaranteed with the allocation or assignment of IPv4 addresses.

0.3. Uniqueness (Registration)

Provision of a public registry documenting Internet number resource allocation, reallocation, assignment, and reassignment is necessary to:

a) ensure uniqueness and to to provide operational staff with information on who is using the number resource b) to provide a contact in case of operational/security problems (e.g. Law Enforcement) c) to ensure that a provider has exhausted a majority of its current CIDR allocation, thereby justifying an additional allocation d) to assist in IP allocation studies.

It is imperative that reassignment information be submitted in a prompt and efficient manner to facilitate database maintenance and ensure database integrity.

0.4. Stewardship

It should be noted that efficient utilization and hierarchical aggregation are often conflicting goals. All the above goals may sometimes be in conflict with the interests of individual end-users or Internet Service Providers. Care must be taken to ensure balance with these conflicting goals given the resource availability, relative size of the resource, and number resource specific technical dynamics, for each type of number resource. For example, efficient utilization becomes a more prominent issue than aggregation as the IPv4 free pool depletes and IPv4 resource availability in any transfer market decreases. Conversely, because the IPv6 number space is orders of magnitude larger than the IPv4 number space, the scale tips away from efficient utilization towards hierarchical aggregation for IPv6 number resources.


a. Timetable for implementation: immediately

b. I believe that it would be beneficial for IANA to adopt these principles as well, and encourage the community to consider a global policy proposal.