This article presents a discussion on ARIN, the American Registry for Internet Numbers that plays a significant role

ARIN logo

in IPv6 adoption. It is a group of regional Internet registries responsible for the allocation of various Internet resources, such as IP addresses, and the formulation of consensus-based policies.
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Any device that is connected to the Internet, whether a computer, mobile phone or palm top device, must have a unique number called an Internet Protocol address in order to be able to transmit and receive information over the Internet. Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) is the recently introduced numbering system that is configured to provide a much larger address pool than the previous and concurrently running version (IPv4).

Internet Registries

There are five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) in the world, which have been instituted to oversee Internet governance and IP address allocation functions through a transparent and democratic process — with the ultimateMan using phone aim of ensuring universal access to and stability in functioning of the Internet.

The US based ARIN (American Registry of Internet Numbers) is one of them. It is a non-profit organization that concerns itself with the technical coordination and distribution of Internet number resources (this includes allocation of IPv4 and IPv6 address space and Autonomous System Numbers) across the U.S. as well as to Canada and many Caribbean & North Atlantic islands, and development of related policies through a consensus approach with participation by members and stakeholders.

It seeks to bring about the advancement of the Internet usability through the spread of information and by educating the public, through open and transparent means.

Internet Protocol IPv6 vs. IPv4

ARIN has all along maintained a neutral stance on the issue of IPv4 vs. IPv6 deployment, and does not specifically advocate the usage of any one protocol in preference over the other. However, in the current scenario where the IPv4 address pool is fast getting depleted and set to reach complete extinction by around 2012, ARIN sees no option but to advise the Internet fraternity that migration to IPv6 is an inevitable conclusion that users may have to contend with in the near term.

ipv4 pie chart
(Source: Global IP Addressing Statistics

phone in handsIPv6 As things stand today, networks will likely use both IPv4 and IPv6 concurrently in the foreseeable future. With more and more Internet-enabled devices becoming operational, however, Internet Service Providers and organizations will have to expand their networks, which will raise the demand for IP addresses further. As the IPv4 address pool continues to get depleted in this process, organizations will experience constraints in getting large IPv4 address blocks, and will eventually be compelled to make the switch over to the IPv6 option.

ipv4 graphs

ipv6 graphs

The total number of allocated IPv6 prefixes per RIR as of now (22/10/2007), are given below:

ipv6 RIR table

Press Releases & ARINs Board Resolution

A recent press release from ARIN states: The available IPv4 resource pool has now been reduced to the point that ARIN is compelled to advise the Internet community that migration to IPv6 is necessary for any applications that require ongoing availability from ARIN of contiguous IP number resources. On 7 May 2007, the ARIN Board of Trustees passed a resolution advising the Internet technical community that migration to a new version of the Internet Protocol, IPv6, will be necessary to allow continued growth of the Internet. (ARIN Board Advises Internet Community on Migration to IPv6: PRNewswire-USNewswire, Chantilly, VA., May 21, 2007).

John Curran, Chairman of ARIN’s Board of Trustees said that “We must prepare for IPv4’s depletion, and ARIN’s resolution to encourage that migration to IPv6 may be the impetus for more organizations to start the planning process.”

As a first step toward implementing this resolution, ARIN proposes to review its internal resource request procedures, and the ARIN Advisory Council is committed to the cause for transition to IPv6 in concert with the community on policy changes. They intend to provide ongoing periodic updates to the community, produce educational materials, and focus on IPv6 related topics for discussion during speaking engagements, hold trade shows, and conduct technical community meetings.

More information and resources relating to IPv6 implementation status can be had from the ARIN website at, or by e-mailing full text of the Board resolution is available at