Panel on IP address transfers during LACNIC 24

29/10/2015

A panel was organized at the LACNIC meeting held in late September in the city of Bogotá where different opinions were shared regarding the possibility of allowing IP resource transfers within the region or with other Regional Internet Registries.

During the one-and-a-half-hour session, voices were heard for and against address transfers, other registries’ shared their experiences in this area, and signs of a secondary market in LACNIC’s service region were discussed.

The community’s interest in obtaining information on IP address transfers triggered the discussion on the situation post-IPv4 exhaustion. Currently, three regions allow IP address transfers: ARIN, APNIC and RIPE.

Jorge Villa moderated the forum, which acknowledged that IPv4 exhaustion has caused a secondary IP address market to appear, either in the form of a market recognized by the Regional Registry as in other RIRs or as what Villa referred to as an “invisible market,” as in the LAC region.

Gianina Pensky, Policy Officer at LACNIC, was in charge of presenting the work of George Michaelson (APNIC), who had prepared material which included information relating to the Asia-Pacific registry’s experience with transfers in that region.

IP addresses transfers have been taking place at APNIC for five years. A significant increase has been noted recently which has coincided with global IPv4 exhaustion announcements.

“The question is whether this increased activity is determined by address demand, not by address supply. There is an increased demand, and this is what is causing the increase in transfers,” stated Michaelson’s slide, which was shown by Pensky.

Of APNIC’s 11,319 members, so far 596 entities have participated in address transfers within the Asia-Pacific market. Likewise, transfers represent 1.4% of APNIC’s total addresses.

In his presentation, Marco Schmidt of RIPE NCC —a region where 20 to 30 transfers are completed daily— mentioned several relevant elements. In his opinion, the most important argument in favor of transfers is proper maintenance of the address registry, as “transfers will be made either way, so we must make sure it is done in an official manner.”

He also highlighted the fact that unused addresses should be returned voluntarily and redistributed to organizations that need them.

To illustrate what has happened, Schmidt reported IP figures for the three registries where transfers are allowed. Since 2009, ARIN has completed 300 transfers for a total of approximately 33 million IP addresses. In APNIC, transfers began in 2010 and 1,000 transfers have been made for approximately 9,7 millon addresses. Since 2012, RIPE has completed 3,000 transfers, totaling 18 million IP addresses. In turn, there have been 172 inter-RIR transfers (between APNIC and ARIN) for a total of approximately 4,5 million IP addresses.

Ricardo Patara, Number Resource Manager at NIC .br, expressed his concern regarding the possibility of creating an address market, as in his opinion profit should not be obtained from IP address transfers.

Patara also noted that RIRs not only look out for the (IP address) information contained in the registry —one of the arguments made by transfer proponents—but also play an important role in the distribution of resources, assigning them fairly and equitably and only in case of proven need.

Despite his position, he admitted an “inevitable” moment will come when IP address transfers will have to be accepted, either within the LACNIC service region or with other registries. Until then, he proposed defining criteria that will avoid the development of a speculative market.

Edmundo Cázarez López, Number Resource Manager at NIC Mexico, noted that transfers will indeed occur due to LAC region members’ need for addresses, but that it is possible to make sure they cause the least amount of problems. In his view, transfers should occur in case of demonstrated need and authorization should be granted based on the criterion set forth in the LACNIC policy manual currently in force.

Finally, Daniel Miroli of IP trading —a company which handles IP address transfers— shared his experience in the regions where transfers are allowed.

The panel not only generated debate among LACNIC 24 attendees and those following the meeting remotely, but also brought to the table valuable information that will help the community make an informed decision on the criteria under which LACNIC should manage resources in coming years.

For those interested in further details of what was discussed during this panel, the video is available at: https://youtu.be/yCkw55Xd0SQ

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