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Contribution Feb 2013 Text Display Screen

Name : HICKSON, Nigel
Date : October 21, 2013
Organization : ICANN
Country : Brussels
Issues : Issue 2

Contribution :


The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) would like to applaud the Council Working Group on International Internet-Related Public Policy (CWG-Internet) for allowing all stakeholders this opportunity to provide input on elements of the debate surrounding policy issues concerning IPv4 addresses. By examining inputs from individuals and organizations actively engaged in the management of IPv4 addresses, CWG-Internet will have a better understanding of the current status of the debate between and within the multistakeholder organisations.

However, we suggest that the process of briefing members of CWG-Internet could be simplified by allowing all stakeholders to attend meetings of CWG-Internet. This will enable experts to participate and immediately respond to comments and questions from ITU Member States. By ensuring CWG-Internet has access to the most up-to-date information about IPv4 policy, ITU Member States will be able to play a fuller role in the debate about how best to manage IPv4 address space.

ICANN believes that the public policy debate surrounding the efficient use of IPv4 address space should be facilitated in all multistakeholder fora where interested parties want to debate the issues, which would include an open and inclusive CWG-Internet.

Moreover, ICANN suggests that members of CWG-Internet could more effectively ensure the success of the Internet for future generations by focusing resources on strategies for incentivising ITU Member States and business to swiftly adopt IPv6. While it will be many years before IPv4 is obsolete, transitioning to IPv6 should help ameliorate many of the current concerns surrounding legacy IPv4 addresses and inter-regional transfers.


Unused Legacy IPv4 Addresses

The debate surrounding unused IPv4 addresses is both complex and long-standing. At the most straightforward level, the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs), with support from their multistakeholder communities, have worked to ensure that, where possible, unused legacy IPv4 addresses are returned to IANA; where the recovered pool now has around 16m addresses.

In order to help facilitate debate on the future use and treatment of legacy IPv4 addresses, ICANN has, along with other actors, facilitated workshops where all stakeholders have the opportunity to discuss their concerns and suggest issues the multistakeholder community needs to address.

Issues relating to legacy IPv4 addresses are also dealt with by the RIRs both individually and collectively. We ask CWG-Internet members to attend their own local RIR meetings in order to most effectively engage with those policy debates.  There are five RIRs, with each responsible for a specific geographic area: Asia (APNIC), Africa (AFRINIC), Latin America (LACNIC), North America (ARIN), and Europe and the Middle East (RIPE).

Inter-Region Transfer of IPv4 Addresses

On inter-region transfers of IPv4 addresses, ICANN (through the Community) have been involved in meetings that have helped to facilitate discussion between stakeholders to enable more efficient use of IPv4 addresses. However, ICANN does not have a direct role in developing policy on inter-region transfers. That role rests with each RIR’s open, policy-making community.

Those members of CWG-Internet with an interest in this issue should engage with their local RIR and contribute to the policy development process for inter-region IPv4 address transfers.

We look forward to engaging with CWG-Internet in the future on these issues. ICANN is available to provide further input on any future questions CWG-Internet may have. However, ICANN believes members of CWG-Internet will better understand the existing debates, and more effectively engage with the issues by attending and participating in the policy debates at ICANN and RIR meetings.


ICANN ( is an international, non-profit entity, responsible for managing the technical coordination of the Internet’s unique identifiers: the domain name system and IP addresses. ICANN operates in a bottom-up, consensus-based, multi-stakeholder approach towards its mission.