Press Releases

ARIN Reiterates Availability of IP Address Space Transfers According to Community Policy

April 04
07:38 2011

Hosting ToolboxChantilly, VA – In response to press interest in the matter, the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) reiterates its continued support for IP address space allocations and transfers to organizations that have documented need. ARIN is the Regional Internet Registry that manages Internet Protocol (IP) number resources in the United States, Canada, and parts of the Caribbean.  While organizations of all types make use of IP address space, Internet service providers and hosting companies require additional IP address space on an ongoing basis to serve new customers (note that IP addresses, also known as “Internet addresses” are the numeric identifiers used by computers connected to the Internet, for example “”)

The central free pool of available IPv4 addresses became fully depleted on 3 February 2011. Going forward, each region has a finite supply of available IPv4 address space that can be allocated to qualified organizations.  ARIN still has IPv4 address space available within the region, and qualifying organizations with documented need will be allocated a three-month supply of IPv4 addresses in accordance with community-developed policies.  These policies for IP address allocation have been developed by the community to encourage availability of IP address space while recognizing the technical limitations on address space routing in the global Internet.

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Organizations that have IPv4 address space that they no longer need are encouraged to return the space to allow continued growth of the Internet. In the formative years of the Internet, many organizations received significantly oversized address allocations due to technical limitations at that time, and they may currently have more address space than they need.  As organizations received these early IP address allocations for free, returning unneeded address space is quite appropriate, and ARIN thanks the many organizations that have already done so.

Organizations also have the option to transfer unused address space to a party with documented need.  Transfers of IPv4 address space in the ARIN region are governed by a community-developed policy known as the “Specified Transfer” policy, and such transfers allow qualifying organizations to receive up to a 12-month supply of IP addresses. These transfers meet the community goals of better utilization of the limited IPv4 address space, and organizations may be compensated by the recipient to release address space in this manner.  All the information needed to initiate and complete the transfer process is available online through the ARIN website (

ARIN does not match up parties who have address space to those who need space, though there is the potential for others to pair parties and facilitate such transfers as long as they comply with the community-developed policies.  ARIN will approve transfer requests as long as the participants follow the rules established by the Internet community. Because the transfer policies follow the same technical goals as the existing allocation policies, the resulting address transfers do not pose any adverse effect to the Internet.  As the transition of the Internet to the next-generation IP protocol (IPv6) is expected to take several years, it is crucial that management of the IPv4 address space in the interim is performed responsibly.

“ARIN has a responsibility to make clear the community-developed policies by which we maintain the ARIN Whois database, and requests to transfer IP address blocks will be approved in compliance with such policies.” said John Curran, President and CEO of ARIN. “We are managing the address space as a public resource for the Internet community, and must implement the policies that they establish as necessary to keep the Internet running.”

About the American Registry for Internet Numbers

ARIN is the nonprofit corporation that manages the distribution of Internet number resources – IPv4, IPv6, and Autonomous System numbers – in its service region, which includes Canada, many Caribbean and North Atlantic islands, and the United States. More information on ARIN and IPv6 adoption is available at and

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