The Open Policy Meeting at APNIC 44 will be held across three sessions on 13 and 14 September 2017, with six policy proposals up for discussion. Here is a rundown of the issues.
Managing the last of the Final /8 block
APNIC manages two IPv4 free pools. The Final /8 pool (comprising 103/8 addresses) has around 38% of a /8 remaining. Delegations from this pool are limited to a /22 for each new and existing APNIC and NIR Member. You can take less from this pool, but no more than a /22.
APNIC started delegations under that policy in April 2011 and although new memberships have flattened a little in 2017, the depletion trend indicates this pool will is likely to be empty in around two years’ time.
The stated purpose of the Final /8 policy, when it reached agreement in August 2008, was to support legacy IPv4 services during the transition phase to IPv6. The Final /8 “is not intended as a solution to the growth needs of a few organisations, but for assisting with the transition from IPv4 to IPv6”.
At the time, it was recognized that “some organisations may set up multiple LIR registrations in an effort to get more address space than proposed”. So, the policy proposal called for the APNIC Secretariat to “be vigilant regarding these”, accepting that “it is hard to ensure complete compliance”.
There are 16,384 /22s in a /8 and the authors reasoned that there would be enough space for the approximately 2,500 direct Members, NIR members and future new Members for a considerable time.
That wasn’t quite how it turned out. APNIC now has more than 6,000 direct Members and many NIRs continue to grow at a rapid pace.
There are many factors causing this, such as the growth in the number of companies joining APNIC for direct assignments, when they are unable to get customer assignments from their providers, who have also run out of IPv4 addresses. The point here is that, rather than lasting more than 15 years, as envisioned at the time, the Final /8 will last fewer than 10. Hopefully that is long enough to make the transition to IPv6.
Concerns about the number of 103/8 address blocks being transferred or accumulating in a small number of Member accounts via Merger and Acquisition policies have been expressed by some community members at APNIC meetings and on mailing lists.
There are some statistics in the proposal text of prop-116: Prohibit to transfer IPv4 addresses in the final /8 block to indicate the scale of the issue. This policy proposal seeks to stop 103/8 address block-holders from transferring Final /8 delegations for two years. This makes it less profitable for those attempting to exploit the /8 policy, but carries the risk of punishing entrepreneurs who wish to on-sell their start-up within 24 months of launch, for example.
At almost the other end of the spectrum, some community members feel transfers should be easier and less restricted.
This led to a proposal, first presented at APNIC 43, to allow transfer of resources without technical review of the recipient’s need for the resources. The proposal, prop-118: No need policy in APNIC region, argues that since these addresses are not coming from the free pool, there should be no policy requirement to protect them by ensuring they are delegated only to those who can demonstrate they need the resources in their network.
Demonstrated need has been a fundamental mechanism in Internet resource management since the inception of the Internet. It was first removed from APNIC policy with the consensus decision to implement the initial transfers proposal, prop-050. The argument for its removal at the time was that registry accuracy would be improved if there were fewer impediments to transparent dealings with the Secretariat.
Demonstrated need subsequently returned to APNIC policy to meet ARIN transfer requirements with prop-104. Without demonstrated need, ARIN resources could not be transferred to the APNIC region. The proposal under discussion deals with this obstacle by placing a lightweight demonstrated need of a plan to use at least 50% of the resources within five years. This policy has successfully allowed RIPE NCC region transfers with ARIN and there’s no reason to suspect it will impact ARIN to APNIC transfers if the proposal passes.
Proposal to allow leasing address space
A new proposal aims to create a mechanism for ‘temporary’ transfers that would allow organizations to have resources directly registered under them while they are the custodians of these resources.
The proposal, prop-119: Temporary transfers, would legitimize the practice of leasing address space to organizations that are not access/transit customers of the LIR.
The author of this proposal argues that the temporary transfer mechanism would differ from a customer assignment by allowing the resources to be registered as ‘allocated portable’, thus offering more direct management and legitimacy to their use of the resources. It would also open up the possibility of leasing to organizations that are not using the LIR’s data services. Under current policy, such activity is considered a breach of policy and the APNIC membership agreement. If identified, the Secretariat could recover the resources and close the Member’s account.
Final /8 exhaustion plans
The other free pool of IPv4 addresses under management by APNIC is the IPv4 Recovered pool. Any non-103/8 addresses returned, recovered, or delegated through IANA global policies are placed in this pool.
Unfortunately, the pool is empty and there are more than 300 approved requests (around a /14) in a waiting list, which is likely to mean a long wait for those joining the list.
When the Final /8 pool reaches exhaustion, there are no instructions in policy for how to deal with the second empty pool. Some resources may be put into that pool (recovered/returned 103/8 addresses), so a second, separate waiting list would be one option.
The plan put forward in prop-120: Final /8 pool exhaustion plan involves reverting APNIC resource management to a single free pool. It does not alter the amount of address space Members may receive from APNIC, but it does give waiting list preference to new Members.
Proposed IPv6 criteria changes
The final two proposals under discussion are prop-121: Updating “Initial IPv6 allocation” policy and prop-122: Updating “Subsequent IPv6 allocation” policy. These related proposals, for initial and subsequent IPv6 allocation procedures, would allow APNIC hostmasters to use different criteria for evaluating large IPv6 requests.
The proposal alters the allocation of IPv6 space by not specifying the number of assignments an LIR should plan to make within two years. More importantly, where more than the minimum delegation is required, this proposal would remove the HD-ratio as the basis of assessment, and allow requestors to justify space according to their organizational structure or other factors.
The same policy change was already implemented in the RIPE NCC region in response to problems arising from organizations such as those requesting for governments, or large government departments, such as Defence. Basically, other technical reasons that justify a less efficient address plan than would be required under the HD-ratio thresholds.
Participate! Have your say
If you want to participate in the discussions of these policy proposals, subscribe to the Policy SIG Mailing List and attend the APNIC 44 Policy SIG meeting — either in person or by remote participation.
The video below answers some of your questions about the policies up for discussion at APNIC 44.
The views expressed by the authors of this blog are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of APNIC. Please note a Code of Conduct applies to this blog.