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AFRINIC is Approaching IPv4 Exhaustion Phase 1

16 January 2017 - The AFRINIC IPv4 inventory will soon reach a point where the "Current Phase" will end, and "Exhaustion Phase 1" of the IPv4 Soft Landing policy will begin. This is an update on the implementation of the IPv4 Soft Landing policy.

AFRINIC's available inventory of IPv4 space is summarised here, updated daily.

 

SOFT LANDING POLICY

In 2011, the AFRINIC community passed an "IPv4 Soft Landing" policy to deal with the exhaustion of IPv4 address space.  That policy is currently described in Section 5.4 of the Consolidated Policy Manual. (It was earlier known under the identifier "AFPUB-2010-v4-005" as archived here).

The soft landing policy defines several phases for exhaustion of the IPv4 address space: the "Current Phase", "Exhaustion Phase 1", and "Exhaustion Phase 2".  These phases begin and end according to criteria defined in the policy, based on the amount of address space remaining in AFRINIC's IPv4 pool.

 

FINAL /8

The following definition of the "Final /8" appears in section 5.4.1 of the CPM:

The Final /8 block of IPv4 address space, or "Final /8", is the /8 block of IPv4 address space that has been allocated by the IANA to AFRINIC in terms of section 2.2 C of the Global Policy for the Allocation of the Remaining IPv4 Address Space at the time of exhaustion of the IANA pool of IPv4 address space.

Based on that definition, the "Final /8" is the IPv4 address block 102.0.0.0/8, which was allocated by the IANA to AFRINIC on 3 February 2011 (NRO news article) (AFRINIC news article).

 

CRITERIA FOR THE START OF EXHAUSTION PHASE 1

Section 5.4.2 of the CPM specifies the following criteria for the end of the Current Phase and the start of Exhaustion Phase 1:

The current phase will continue until an otherwise valid request for IPv4 address space from any LIR or end user to AFRINIC either:

(a) cannot be fulfilled with the IPv4 address space available in the AFRINIC pool (with the exception of the final /8), or

(b) can be fulfilled, but would leave the the AFRINIC IPv4 address pool empty (with the exception of the final /8).

AFRINIC will implement the specified criteria as follows.

When a request for IPv4 resources is approved but cannot be issued as a single contiguous block from the available inventory (excluding the final /8), the applicant will be given the option of receiving the resources as multiple smaller blocks instead (if there are sufficient smaller block to make that possible).  

If the applicant is willing to receive multiple smaller blocks adding up to the same amount of space as was approved, then the request is treated as "fulfilled".  If the applicant does not want multiple smaller blocks, or if there are not even enough smaller blocks to fulfil the approved request, then the request cannot be fulfilled, and Exhaustion Phase 1 will begin.  The applicant whose request was not fulfilled under the Current Phase may then receive no more than a /13 of IPv4 space under Exhaustion Phase 1.

It is also possible that an approved request under the Current Phase can be fulfilled (either as a single contiguous block or as multiple smaller blocks) but leaves the available IPv4 inventory empty (excluding the final /8).  In that case, Exhaustion Phase 1 will begin immediately after this request is approved, and will apply to all subsequent requests or any requests that are already in progress.

 

CHANGES IN EXHAUSTION PHASE 1

When Exhaustion Phase 1 begins, most current IPv4 policies continue to apply, but certain changes take effect:

  1. The minimum IPv4 allocation for LIRs will be /22, and the minimum IPv4 assignment for End User resource members will be /24. (CPM section 5.4.3.1.)
  2. Maximum IPv4 Allocation/Assignment shall be /13. (CPM section 5.4.3.1.)
  3. No explicit limit on the number of times an organization may request additional IPv4 space. (CPM section 5.4.4.)
  4. Allocation/Assignment period (planning window) changes from 12 months to 8 months. (CPM section 5.4.5.)
  5. Existing Resource Members are eligible to get additional blocks if 90% efficient usage of all resources has been demonstrated. (CPM section 5.4.6.1.)
  6. Use of AFRINIC IPv4 resources outside the AFRINIC service region should be solely in support of connectivity back to the AFRINIC region. (CPM section 5.4.6.2.)
  7. A /12 IPv4 address block will be reserved out of the final /8. This /12 IPv4 address block shall be preserved by AFRINIC for some future uses, as yet unforeseen.  (CPM section 5.4.7.)

 

CRITERIA FOR THE START OF EXHAUSTION PHASE 2

Exhaustion Phase 1 ends and Exhaustion Phase 2 begins when AFRINIC has no more than one /11 of non-reserved IPv4 space available in the final /8.  (CPM section 5.4.3.1.) The policy does not specify whether the /11 must be contiguous, or may be made up of multiple smaller blocks adding up to the same amount of space.

AFRINIC's interpretation is that the /11 may be made up of multiple smaller blocks.  Accordingly, Exhaustion Phase 2 will begin when the available non-reserved space in the final /8 is no more than 2097152 IP addresses (the same amount as a /11), regardless of how the available addresses are arranged in contiguous or discontiguous blocks.  Nevertheless, AFRINIC will endeavour to keep a contiguous /11 set aside for as long as reasonably feasible.

 

CHANGES IN EXHAUSTION PHASE 2

When Exhaustion Phase 2 begins, most of the IPv4 policies from Exhaustion Phase 1 continue to apply, but the following changes will take effect:

  1. Minimum IPv4 Allocation or Assignment shall be /24. (CPM section 5.4.3.2.)
  2. Maximum IPv4 Allocation or Assignment shall be /22. (CPM section 5.4.3.2.)

The following considerations from Exhaustion Phase 1 will continue to apply in Exhaustion Phase 2:

  1. No explicit limit on the number of times an organization may request additional IPv4 space. (CPM section 5.4.4.)
  2. Allocation/Assignment period (planning window) is 8 months. (CPM section 5.4.5.)
  3. Existing Resource Members are eligible to get additional blocks if 90% efficient usage of all resources has been demonstrated. (CPM section 5.4.6.1.)
  4. Use of AFRINIC IPv4 resources outside the AFRINIC service region should be solely in support of connectivity back to the AFRINIC region. (CPM section 5.4.6.2.)