The “New Normal” for IPv4 Exhaustion
Of the 600 IPv4 address requests currently pending at LACNIC, only 170 organizations will receive address space in the next twelve months, LACNIC’s Chief Services Officer Alfredo Verderosa informed the audience during his presentation at LACNIC 34 LACNOG 2020. The remaining 400 organizations and any others that submit IPv4 resource requests in the future will have to wait even longer, Verderosa noted.
This final phase of IPv4 exhaustion was triggered in February 2017. Since then, LACNIC has assigned more than 5.6 million IPv4 addresses, 5,196,032 of which were assigned to Internet service providers, while 189,952 were assigned to end users (see figure 1).
IPv4 exhaustion in Latin America and the Caribbean was duly planned by “our community and regulated by means of policies for more than eight years,” Verderosa observed. During the first two weeks of August, the average number of IPv4 assignments practically doubled and, on August 19th, LACNIC reserved the last available IPv4 address block for Phase 3 (see figure 2). During the month of August, LACNIC added a record number of new members (234).
During Phase 3, IPv4 assignments are subject to limitations on both their size and frequency, always according to policies defined by the LACNIC community. IPv4 addresses can only be assigned to new members, who may receive a maximum of a /22 and a minimum of a /24. Likewise, each new member may only receive an initial assignment from this space.
Verderosa pointed out that, during this phase, the number of blocks that can be recovered is very dynamic. “Practically every month IP addresses are being recovered and these addresses will be assigned once again after their quarantine period is over. However, only a small volume of addresses is recovered: we expect to recover a monthly average of between 5 and 6 /22s,” he added.
This recovered space must undergo a six-month quarantine process. The first addresses to enter the quarantine period did so in March and will be released once they have been quarantined for six months.
Long waiting times. As of today, there are approximately 200 IPv4 address requests on LACNIC’s waiting list, while another 400 requests are being processed. Of those 600 requests, LACNIC estimates that only 170 will receive address space in the next twelve months (before September 2021). “The remaining 400 organizations and any others that submit future IPv4 requests will have to wait even longer,” Verderosa noted.
Verderosa concluded his presentation by stressing that organizations that wish to effectively and finally settle their need for IP address space should deploy IPv6 as soon as possible.