Using the Market to Obtain or Release IPv4 Addresses

By John Sweeting - Senior Director of Registration Services, ARIN

In my last post I gave you some background and current statistics on the IPv4 transfer market, now I want to give you a few pointers on how to navigate it, whether you are interested in obtaining or releasing IPv4 address space.   Before we begin, I encourage you to look at the IPv4 transfer flow chart we’ve created.  It should help successfully guide you through the process.

Releasing IPv4 Address Space

For organizations seeking to release unused IPv4 addresses via the transfer market, it’s extremely important to make sure your IPv4 addresses are registered to an active legal entity within the ARIN region.  We often encounter requests from organizations seeking to release IPv4 addresses that are registered to a previous organization name – for example, a company that was acquired or a business that was dissolved.  We can’t approve those addresses to be released via the transfer market until they’re transferred to the proper successor organization.  This requirement isn’t in place to make your life difficult; it’s a necessity to make sure valuable IPv4 resources are being released by the proper registrant and that no other organization may subsequently make a valid claim to the resources.  IPv4 addresses registered to a previous organization name are generally moved to the correct successor organization via a merger & acquisition transfer.  These transfer requests often involve substantial documentation and review and can sometimes take weeks or months to complete.  To avoid that delay when releasing IPv4 addresses via the transfer market – particularly once a transaction has been arranged and both parties are eager to have it completed – I strongly encourage your organization to complete all necessary preparatory steps (e.g. a merger & acquisition transfer) prior to participating in the transfer market.  Once you’re ready to move forward, submit a specified recipient transfer source request.

Obtaining IPv4 Address Space

For organizations seeking to acquire IPv4 addresses via the transfer market, there are multiple ways to begin the process.  ARIN offers a free transfer pre-approval service that allows your organization to establish its 24 month IPv4 need prior to seeking IPv4 addresses on the transfer market.  While not required, obtaining pre-approval will ensure you can confidently arrange one or more transactions to receive IPv4 addresses knowing that you can receive up to the pre-approved amount with no additional justification required.  If you don’t request a pre-approval, your need will be evaluated at the time you submit your request to receive IPv4 addresses via transfer.  Either way, we’ll need some basic data about your 24 month IPv4 need, to include a current utilization percentage for each IPv4 block you currently have registered through ARIN (if any) along with a brief synopsis of the number of additional IPv4 addresses you expect to need over the next 24 months and how they’ll be used.  Note that you do not need to qualify for additional IPv4 addresses at the time of the transfer to receive IPv4 addresses via transfer; you need only show that the number of available IPv4 addresses in your currently registered ARIN IPv4 blocks is insufficient to meet your 24 month need.  Also, note that when reviewing future usage, we’re looking for a brief and reasonable “back of envelope” summary of your projected 24 month need.  The goal is not to perform an in-depth analysis to disprove your projections, but to ensure your projections are tethered to reality so that you can get the addresses you need on the transfer market.  Once you’re ready to move forward, submit a specified recipient transfer recipient request.

Since IPv4 depletion in the ARIN region, transfer activity has been increasing.  Whether you want to obtain or release IPv4 space through the transfer market, we can help you through the process. In my next post I will take a look at where to begin when you’re ready to participate in the IPv4 transfer market but don’t know where to start.

POST WRITTEN BY:

John Sweeting

Senior Director of Registration Services, ARIN