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IPv4 Exhaustion: Phase 1 Imminent

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March 30 2017 - As of 27 March 2017, AFRINIC's pool of available IPv4 address space contained the equivalent of 1.03 /8s and we expect to reach the last /8 of available IPv4 space by the end of March or the first days of April 2017.

This means that AFRINIC's IPv4 address space inventory will very soon reach the previously agreed level where the "Current Phase" will end, and "Exhaustion Phase 1" of the AFPUB-2010-v4-005: IPv4 Soft Landing Policy will be triggered. This community-developed policy can be found here.


As of today, AFRINIC is still managing Internet number resources as per the requirements outlined in existing policies (the "Current Phase") but this will change imminently. You can view all current policies here.


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



All AFRINIC Resource Members are kindly requested to familiarise themselves with AFPUB-2010-v4-005: IPv4 Soft Landing Policy, available here


In addition to the policy itself, please refer to the communique dated 16 January 2017, announcing AFRINIC's approach to IPv4 Exhaustion.

To ensure timely evaluation of all Internet number resource requests, Members are requested to ensure that: 


• They are in good standing (all fees are paid up, and RSA duly signed)

• Submit complete IPv4 resource requests, including all information needed to verify policy compliance.

• Make arrangements for AFRINIC staff to check online statistics via screen sharing or similar methods, at a time between 06:00UTC and 11:30am UTC, Monday to Friday (between 10:00 and 15:30 Mauritius time (UTC+4)).



As of today, AFRINIC is still managing Internet number resources under existing policies, which can be found here.

The current process involves AFRINIC's hostmasters evaluating resource requests received, and deciding on the prefix that can be approved for each particular resource member based on the information provided. Members are subsequently invoiced an allocation/assignment fee based on prefix size approved. There is no limit (based on justified need) to the size of prefix that can be approved. Resources are marked as RESERVED when a request is approved, and are subsequently issued to the requesting Member when AFRINIC receives the payment of the allocation/assignment fees.



Exhaustion Phase 1 is triggered as soon as a request cannot be fulfilled, or can be fulfilled but leaves the available IPv4 inventory - excluding the final /8 - empty.


As described in the previous communique dated 16 January 2017, if a request for IPv4 resources is approved but cannot be fulfilled using 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 is a sufficient amount of smaller blocks 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 enough smaller blocks to fulfil the approved request, then the request cannot be fulfilled.


The communique can be found here



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


• The minimum IPv4 allocation for LIRs will be /22, and the minimum IPv4 assignment for End User Members will be /24. (section

• The maximum IPv4 allocation/assignment shall be /13 (section

• No explicit limit on the number of times an organisation may request additional IPv4 space (section 5.4.4).

• Allocation/assignment period (planning window) changes from 12 months to 8 months (section 5.4.5).

• Existing Resource Members are eligible to get additional blocks of IPv4 address space if 90% efficient usage of all resources has been demonstrated (section

• Use of AFRINIC IPv4 resources outside the AFRINIC service region should be solely in support of connectivity back to the AFRINIC region (section

• A /12 IPv4 address block will be reserved from the final /8. This /12 IPv4 address block shall be preserved by AFRINIC for future uses, as yet unforeseen (section 5.4.7).


Please see the relevant sections in the Consolidated Policy Manual for more information.



AFRINIC will issue another communique when Exhaustion Phase 1 begins, and again when Exhaustion Phase 2 appears to be imminent. 


More information:


• IPv4 exhaustion:

• IPv6 deployment:

• AFRINIC's Policy Development Process (PDP):

• Global Policy Global Policy for the Allocation of the Remaining IPv4 Address Space:

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