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Recently, the RIR for the Middle East, Europe and Central Asia, namely RIPE, approved a policy concerning the distribution of the decreasing stock of its IPv4 addresses. As per this policy, companies needing RIPE’s addresses should apply at the earliest. Those who apply for these addresses in that way will be served before the others who do so. There will be a waiting list, although it is unclear as to how long they would have to wait to get the required resources.

Moreover, as per the policy, “The size of the allocation made will be exactly one /24.” The said block comprises 256 addresses, which is precisely what applying companies would get if they surpass the others in the waiting list.

RIPE seems like doing whatever it can to lessen the impact of the IPv4 depletion phenomenon. Still, one doubts whether these measures will solve the regional IPv4 shortage. The allocation of 256 IP addresses per company might not suffice for those needing a steady address supply for their processes.

A much more sustainable option would be to find a means to utilize the untapped resources, which are beyond the jurisdiction of RIRs.

According to the newest data, over 800 million addresses are yet to be used across the world. These addresses that belong to various companies were gathered when the scarcity was not an issue. At that time, regional internet registries were collecting big address blocks in a rather easy way.

Once the address supply started to dwindle in RIRs, especially after ARIN’s resources ran out, a secondary IPv4 market started to be popular. Still, the unregulated, often non-transparent nature of this market should be more attractive than today to companies with too many unused addresses.

Industry experts feel that the market should function better, and proposes this improvement as the solution. If it seems like a murky market, companies are making the IPv4 address leasing process trustworthy and transparent to change this nature.

The policy announced back in July 2019 would take effect only after RIPE regards it as a necessary one. This is to say that it would not take effect provided that there is no imminent risk of IPv4 depletion. This might occur, as the registrar has seen the supply reducing in the last few years, but the future is unpredictable.

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