[arin-announce] ARIN Board Statement on the Future of Addressing Policy

Member Services info at arin.net
Wed Aug 1 17:31:03 EDT 2007

The American Registry for Internet Numbers Board of Trustees released a 
statement today that assures ARIN will continue to facilitate the policy 
development process that defines how Internet Protocol (IP) addresses 
are distributed in its region, and also reaffirms that ARIN's policies 
do not encourage profit-driven speculation in IP addresses.

The complete statement is included below and is also online at 

On 1 August 2007, the ARIN Board of Trustees issued the following 

Statement of ARIN's Board of Trustees regarding future Internet address 
policy in the ARIN region

The global Internet requires numeric addresses for the routing of 
communications traffic.  These addresses are necessarily finite in 
nature and have been defined in two groups.  One group, called "Internet 
Protocol version 4," or IPv4, was defined in 1979 as a pool of 
approximately 4,300,000,000 addresses.(1)(2)  In anticipation of the 
Internet growing larger than can be accommodated by the IPv4 pool, a 
second group, called "Internet Protocol version 6," or IPv6, was defined 
in 1995 as a pool of approximately 
340,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 addresses, an 
address space billions upon billions of times larger.(3)

In accordance with Internet governance principles, IP addresses of both 
versions are allocated to users by the Regional Internet Registries.(4)  
Because IP addresses are a finite resource, the allocation process is 
defined and overseen democratically and transparently by the public. The 
allocation process seeks to balance two goals: universal access to the 
Internet, and the stability of the Internet's essential communications 

Because the growth of the Internet is leading to full use of the IPv4 
address pool, soon the Regional Internet Registries will no longer have 
new, previously unassigned IPv4 addresses to allocate to users.(6)  
Forward-thinking users have already begun the transition to the much 
more plentiful IPv6 addresses in anticipation of this situation.  There 
are, however, those who propose that the democratically established 
governance principles now be abandoned, to create a market in IP 
addresses.  A market that abandons these existing, consensus-driven core 
values would encourage speculators to take advantage of the upcoming 
time of relative scarcity of IPv4 addresses to profit from less 
foresightful users' remaining need.

The purpose of this memorandum is to assure the community that the 
democratic principles of Internet governance will be adhered to by ARIN, 
the Regional Internet Registry serving Canada, many Caribbean and North 
Atlantic islands, and the United States.(7) The resource-allocation 
policy under which ARIN operates has been produced through an open, 
transparent, and democratic process over more than a decade.  ARIN is 
fully dedicated to preserving universal access and stable functionality 
of the Internet, and our policies do not encourage profit-driven 
speculation in the Internet addresses.

The current resource management mechanism is fully sufficient to address 
the upcoming shortage of IPv4 addresses, and a continuation of sober and 
responsible enforcement will ensure continued maximum benefit to and 
protection of the entire Internet community.


(1) Internet Engineering Note 111, Internet Protocol, August 1979, by 
the University of Southern California Information Sciences Institute.  

(2) Internet Engineering Task Force Request for Comment number 760, DOD 
Standard Internet Protocol, January 1980, by the University of Southern 
California Information Sciences Institute.  

(3) Internet Engineering Task Force Request for Comment number 1883, 
Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) Specification, December 1995, by 
Steve Deering and Robert Hinden.  http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc1883.txt

(4) Internet Engineering Task Force Request for Comment number 2050, 
Internet Registry IP Allocation Guidelines, November 1996, by Kim 
Hubbard, Mark Kosters, David Conrad, Daniel Karrenberg, and Jon Postel.  

(5) Internet Engineering Task Force Request for Comment number 2008, 
Implications of Various Address Allocation Policies for Internet 
Routing, October 1996, by Yakov Rekhter and Tony Li.  

(6) IPv4 Address Report, updated daily, by Geoff Huston.  

(7) The countries and territories of ARIN's service region are named at 


Raymond A. Plzak
President and CEO
American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN)

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