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[AFRINIC-rpd] New Policy Proposal: Inter RIR IPv4 Address Transfers (AFPUB-2013-V4-001-DRAFT-01)

David Conrad drc at
Wed Jan 16 19:49:11 UTC 2013


On Jan 16, 2013, at 6:43 AM, Chad <chad at> wrote:
> We’re all here to make money, the right way.

Actually, no. As McTim points out, some (many? most?) of us are here to work cooperatively in figuring out the best way to manage a rapidly dwindling resources that remains necessary for building Internet connectivity.

> Show me one legitimate reason why legacy IPs should not be transferrable to another RIR.

Well, since you ask, folks usually point to RFC 2050, section 3.1: 

"IP addresses are valid as long as the [assignment] criteria continues to be met. The IANA reserves the right to invalidate any IP assignments once it is determined the the requirement for the address space no longer exists."

Assuming you mean transfer of registrant, the argument is that if addresses aren't being used and are thus in a position to be transferred then clearly the original assignment criteria which justified the assignment is no longer being met and the assignment should be invalidated. In the case of legacy space, this generally means the addresses should be returned to IANA, but oddly, that doesn't happen frequently.

I try to be pragmatic: I believe getting addresses used is better than having them sit unused in a stockpile.  In the ideal world, folks would return unused address space to the registry system for subsequent reallocation, however I've noted that we do not appear to be living in an ideal world. As such, I have less qualms than others about the prospects of buying/selling addresses under certain conditions.  However, the goal here isn't to make money, it is to encourage the use of a scare resource as efficiently as possible (and to reduce the market distortion that has resulted in the continuing use of IPv4 addresses being seen as cheaper than deploying IPv6 but that's a separate topic).

If you mean transfer of registry, then for good or ill, the RIR system is set up in geographical monopolies. If you feel these monopolies are inappropriate and you want competitive "address registrars", e.g., to pick your address registrar based on price or service level, I suspect the right place to propose a policy to address this would be ICANN.


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