RIPE NCC’s controversial IPv6 policy change: Innovation booster or roadblock?

  • During the Address Policy Working Group session at RIPE 88, the topic of IPv6 stockpiling by certain members was brought to the forefront.
  • RIPE NCC has updated its approach which it says is crucial for maintaining the integrity and efficiency of IPv6 resource management.

In a bold move, the RIPE NCC has thrown the tech world into a whirlpool of debate with its recent update on IPv6 allocation transfers. This significant policy shift aims to curb IPv6 stockpiling and ensure that allocations are genuinely needed and effectively utilized. But is this a masterstroke in internet resource management or a misguided attempt that could stifle innovation?
–Miurio Huang, BTW reporter

The RIPE NCC, the regional internet registry for Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Central Asia, has announced a significant update in its approach to IPv6 allocation transfers. This update aims to address the issue of IPv6 stockpiling and ensure that IPv6 allocations are utilised effectively according to established policies.

What happened

During the Address Policy Working Group session at RIPE 88, the topic of IPv6 stockpiling by certain members was brought to the forefront.

The session revealed broad support for refining the application of IPv6 policies, particularly in the enforcement of transfer requirements.

In response, the RIPE NCC has decided to prioritise the enforcement of policy requirements when processing IPv6 allocation transfer requests.

Effective from 17 June 2024, the receiving party of a transfer must demonstrate the necessity for an additional allocation, aligning with the policy requirements for subsequent allocations.

This involves documenting how the current allocation has been utilised or justifying the need for a new allocation through a successfully deployed network on the allocated range.

Also read: IPv4 vs. IPv6: What’s the difference between the two protocols?

Also read: What to understand about APNIC IPv6 addresses?

Why it’s important

This updated approach has been made in an effort to maintain the integrity and efficiency of IPv6 resource management.

By enforcing stricter documentation and justification requirements, the RIPE NCC aims to prevent the unnecessary accumulation of IPv6 addresses.

This change ensures that IPv6 allocations are distributed based on actual need, promoting better utilisation and fostering sustainable internet growth.

The move underlines the need to effectively manage IPv6 allocation and support the global transition to a more robust and scalable internet infrastructure.

Does RIPE NCC’s proposal really benefit the internet?

With the global push towards broader IPv6 adoption potentially slowing down the necessary transition from IPv4, the timing of this policy is inopportune. It seems that RIPE NCC is bowing to pressure from powerful entities seeking to monopolize IPv6 resources.

The new enforcement measures are a digital straightjacket, hailed as a step forward. Larger corporations, which have more resources to navigate the complex documentation requirements, will benefit from the policy. However, this straightjacket may keep the ability of small and medium-sized enterprises to adopt new technologies locked in.


Miurio Huang

Miurio Huang is an intern news reporter at Blue Tech Wave media specialised in AI. She graduated from Jiangxi Science and Technology Normal University. Send tips to

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